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Our management team

Esther Black

Esther Black

Head of Corporate Operations

Esther has worked in strategic communications for 20 years. She started her career as a journalist before working in the Scottish Parliament, then moved into consultancy supporting campaigning and public relations for international NGOs Pew Environment Group, WWF and Nature Conservancy, as well as Scotland's Children's Commissioner, Waitrose and renewable energy developers.

She joined our predecessor organisation The Crown Estate in 2013 and now oversees communications & branding, stakeholder engagement, people and policy. Esther sits on Business in the Community Scotland's Advisory Board.

 

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Lynne Higgins

Lynne Higgins

Head of Finance & Commercial

Lynne leads on all financial matters and oversees the commercial aspects of the business.

She is an accomplished Chartered Accountant with extensive experience in financial and commercial roles. Prior to joining our predecessor organisation The Crown Estate in 2016, she held posts as Finance Director for The NWH Group Ltd and Chief Operating Officer for The Premier Property Group, a commercial property group.  

She has also held financial roles within local government as Financial Controller for EDI Group Ltd and Accountant for Edinburgh District Council (now City of Edinburgh Council). Lynne is a graduate of Edinburgh University.

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Simon Hodge

Simon Hodge

Chief Executive

Simon Hodge joined Crown Estate Scotland as Chief Executive in April 2018. He leads the staff team and works with the Board and the Scottish Government to fully establish Crown Estate Scotland as a new public corporation.

Originally from Devon, Simon’s previous roles have focussed on natural resource management including policy and research in farming and forestry and eight years as Chief Executive of Forest Enterprise Scotland responsible for Scotland’s National Forest Estate.

Andy Wells

Andy Wells

Head of Property

Andy has worked for The Crown Estate since 1990, managing our Glenlivet Estate before becoming Head of Countryside Management across the UK. He took up his current role in July 2016.

Andy is responsible for our rural and coastal assets which includes 37,000 hectares of rural land with forestry, farming, commercial and residential tenants as well as around half of Scotland’s coastline with ports, harbours and 5,800 moorings. He also oversees health and safety policy on behalf of the Board.

Andy’s work has been recognised with a raft of international and national awards, including an honorary fellowship at the University of Edinburgh.

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