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STP Chair elected as Royal Society of Edinburgh Fellow

The Chair of Scotland’s Towns Partnership (STP), Professor Leigh Sparks, has been elected as a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE).

He is among a group of leading names representing science, the arts, business, sports, civil society and academia who make up this year’s intake to the RSE, which is Scotland’s National Academy.

Prof Sparks is also Deputy Principal and Professor of Retail Studies at the University of Stirling. He has been chair of STP since 2013.

As well as chairing the review of Scotland’s Town Centre Action Plan for the Scottish Government – and authoring the ministerially-commissioned New Future for Scotland’s Towns report – he has been workstream leader on the Government’s retail strategy. He is currently a member of the Expert Advisory Group examining the economic effects of minimum unit pricing of alcohol, and the Board for the Go Local project, a collaboration between the Scottish Grocers Federation, Scotland Food and Drink and the Scottish Government.

Prof Sparks said: “I am obviously personally delighted by the honour of election to Fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

“The role of place, towns, retailing and communities has been a focus of much of my work at the University of Stirling and through being Chair of Scotland’s Towns Partnership. I hope that my work has made, and will continue to make, a difference to improving Scotland’s places and communities.”

Everyone at Scotland’s Towns Partnership is delighted to hear of this incredibly well-deserved recognition.

The RSE’s current fellowship comprises 1,800 people recognised as being some of the greatest thinkers, researchers and practitioners in their field working in or with organisations in Scotland.

RSE President, Professor Sir John Ball, said: “It is a great privilege to welcome our new Fellows – they represent outstanding commitment and achievement at the highest level across a diverse range of sectors. From scientific advancement that changes lives to leading business innovation recognised across the world, the RSE welcomes the best minds to harness their unique insight and make knowledge useful for the greater good.

“Harnessing our Fellows’ talents and ideas allows us to mobilise a wide range of expertise to tackle some of the most complex challenges society faces. In welcoming our new Fellows, I look forward to seeing the positive effect they will have on society in Scotland and beyond.”

You can read the RSE’s announcement here and find out more about wider recognition for the University of Stirling here.