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New start for Brand Scotland

Press release   •   May 10, 2018 15:58 BST

Cat Leaver has today (10 May) been announced as the project director of a bold new marketing strategy for Scotland.

Ms Leaver takes on the role of project director for Brand Scotland from 3 July 2018 and will oversee international activity across VisitScotland, Scottish Development International and the Scottish Government.

This includes overseeing the new global campaign Scotland is Now, as well as the management of the digital infrastructure and talent, that will enable the public sector in Scotland to work with industry and private sector brand partners to stimulate export-led growth.

Scotland is Now, launched last month, builds on the nation’s acknowledged strengths as a land of unrivalled history, breath-taking scenery and warm welcomes, but shines a light on lesser-known qualities: a pioneering, dynamic and progressive nation taking the lead on key global challenges.

Ms Leaver, who originally hails from the Scottish Borders, is currently Head of Strategy at After Digital (formerly Alienation Digital), managing the marketing and digital marketing teams and output, and also co-leading on digital transformation consulting.

Outside of her day job, Ms Leaver is one of five who run TEDxGlasgow, considered one of Europe’s most established TEDx organisations, which aims to provide a platform to stimulate positive change in Scotland and beyond. Last year its main annual event welcomed more than 2000 people to the SEC Armadillo and its talks have had more than 10 million views worldwide.

Charlie Smith, VisitScotland Director of Marketing & Digital said: “Cat brings a wealth of experience, a fresh perspective and the creative energy that will vital in a highly competitive global marketplace. Cat’s experience working with dynamic and progressive digital brands will be invaluable.”

Jane Martin, Managing Director at Scottish Enterprise, said: “We are determined that our joint efforts to date marks the start of a much broader partnership across the wider public sector, industry and business to put out a compelling, confident and consistent story about Scotland internationally. I am delighted to have someone like Cat on board to help us make that happen.”

John Booth, Head of Communications at Scottish Government, said: “Teams from across the public sector have collaborated to great effect to launch our first ever global campaign. Cat will help us build on that momentum to take Brand Scotland further and realise the opportunities that come with digital technology and data.”

Cat Leaver, Brand Scotland Project Director, said: “I’m honoured and excited to take on the role of project director for Brand Scotland. It feels like the perfect time to show off what Scotland has to offer visitors, investors, students and those who are considering making Scotland their home.

“We’re witnessing growing visitor numbers and investment, have world class education and research, are globally renowned for our creative industries and are primed to become a global tech hub. But we’re also facing increasing international competition. Scotland is Now will share our whole story with the rest of the world, communicating both our unique heritage and our progressive, pioneering vision for the future.”

Notes to Editors

  • Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
  • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
  • The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
  • This will be supported by five overarching strategies: Marketing, Events, Quality and Sustainability, Inclusive Tourism, International Engagement.
  • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
  • Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP
  • For VisitScotland’s press releases go to, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to
  • Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
  • For holiday information on Scotland go to
  • For information about business tourism in Scotland go to

2018 Year of Young People

  • The Year of Young People 2018 will be the next of the Scottish Government’s series of themed years, following the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017.
  • The Year of Young People (YoYP 2018) will inspire Scotland through its young people aged 8 to 26, celebrating their achievements, valuing their contributions to communities and creating new opportunities for them to shine locally, nationally and globally
  • Central to YoYP 2018 will be a celebratory events programme that puts young people at the heart of its development and delivery, creating new and valuable experiences for young Scots and the wider public, with links to the inaugural 2018 European Championships.
  • Over 200 young people throughout Scotland are currently being recruited to become YoYP 2018 Ambassadors. Ambassadors will ensure that people and organisations in their communities know about what’s happening and will lead on projects and activities to create events and opportunities to celebrate young people.
  • The Year of Young People will have six themes which were developed in co-production with young people themselves:
  • oParticipation – looking at how young people can influence public services and decisions which affect their lives
  • oEducation – creating a stronger role for young people in shaping their learning
  • oHealth and Wellbeing – supporting young people to lead healthier, active lives and have opportunities to learn about and improve their mental health and resilience
  • oEquality and Discrimination – broadcasting the value of young Scots, challenging negative perceptions of young people, and supporting young people to take leading roles in challenging discrimination in all its forms.
  • oEnterprise and regeneration – celebrating young people’s role in innovation, entrepreneurship and the Scottish economy as well as making Scotland a greener and more pleasant place to live
  • oCulture – celebrating young people’s talent and contribution to Scottish culture and arts.
  • Further information on what’s happening and how people can get involved can be found on the new website or @YOYP2018 on Twitter.