Frank Binnie has left after more than five years at the helm of Design Council Scotland and its post-Sorrell Report equivalent, Scottish Design.
Binnie, who left at the end of March, says he resigned after “a long and interesting series of discussions” with Scottish Design’s board. “We agreed this was the most appropriate way for all,” says Binnie.
A former managing director of textile manufacturer WH Perkins, Binnie took on the role of director for Design Council Scotland at the end of 1990. He then became chief executive of Scottish Design from its launch in May 1994.
He now plans to “move to pastures new” and get involved as a consultant with the textile and other Scottish industries. “I hope design will feature in my plans and I can bring design to the front of chief executives’ thinking.”
There is speculation in Scotland that Scottish Design is changing its focus away from events such as Glasgow’s festivals of design planned for this September and for 1999 when it will be City of Architecture and Design.
Suggestions that Scottish Design is being steered more towards industrial design by its funding parent Scottish Enterprise are not rubbished by acting general manager David Robson. But he says Scottish Design remains committed to promoting all design disciplines to Scottish businesses.
Robson, who describes Binnie’s departure as “entirely amicable”, will not comment on whether he is applying for the chief executive post himself.
Robson is sharing the caretaking role with business development director and acting chief executive Jim Murray.
Scottish Design’s core funding runs out in May 1997, but Robson is confident the body will secure funds: “We are discussing the way forward with Scottish Enterprise.”
Scottish Design and its 11 full-time staff have just moved to new offices at Glasgow’s Stock Exchange in Nelson Mandela Place.