Meet our Helping It Happen Judges

Simon Power

Simon Power

The MacRobert Trust Estate Manager

The MacRobert Trust performs three roles: it is a dynamic charity, it is the owner of an historic legacy and it is a forward-thinking landlord with a large and vibrant estate to manage. 

In addition to managing an estate covering 7,200 acres of farm and woodland, the MacRobert Trust operates Douneside House, which provides facilities to support entitled serving and retired officers of the armed forces and their families. 

"I support the awards because I believe it is time that rural estate businesses receive the recognition that they deserve for the significant contribution they make in co-operating with the communities they co-exist with in a wide range of activities; this also applies to the work that many rural estate businesses undertake to protect and enhance the biodiversity and landscape under their management and the welcome they provide to visitors to their areas.  I am delighted to be able to take part in judging; I am sure that it will be challenging to agree the winners in each category."

Nina Clancy

Nina Clancy

RSABI Chief Executive

Nina Clancy joined RSABI as the Chief Executive in October 2013. RSABI provides emotional, practical and financial support to individuals and their families across the agricultural sector including farming, crofting and growing. Her main aims are to substantially increase the number of people the charity helps and increase regular income from the charity’s supporter scheme. 

She has farming interests in the Scottish Borders and previously worked with NFU Scotland as Regional Manager for Lothian and Borders. The majority of her working career so far has been as a self-employed insurance agent with NFU Mutual and Group Secretary for NFU Scotland based in Newtown St Boswells. She built up the business to be the largest agency in Scotland, giving her an in depth knowledge of the rural community and rural business. 

She took up the post of external director of SAOS in 2014, believing that cooperation and collaboration in the food and farming industries is increasingly important given the many business pressures on farmers and growers. In January 2018 she became a director of AgriScot, one of the most successful agribusiness events in Scotland. 

She is currently chairman of Border Ice Rink Ltd running the curling and skating facility in Kelso.

"People and businesses working together in collaboration is so important for rural Scotland's success whether it is for economic, environmental or social benefits. These awards shine a light on some of the good work that is going on between rural estate businesses and their local communities. I am delighted to be part of the judging panel and very much look forward to seeing this years' entries".

Alan Laidlaw

Alan Laidlaw

RHASS Chief Executive

Alan is Chief Executive of the Royal Highland & Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS). 

RHASS are a charitable organisation supporting farmers and rural business throughout Scotland. The charity distributes over £100,000 in awards and grants each year, as well as facilitating outdoor learning for school children through their education charity, the Royal Highland Education Trust (RHET). RHASS are perhaps best known as the organisers of the Royal Highland Show; an annual 4 day country and agriculture show featuring livestock, show jumping, forestry, flowers, and food and drink. 

Prior to joining RHASS in July 2016, Alan worked at the Crown Estate, joining them in 2005 as Head of New Business Development before being promoted to Head of Property for the Scotland Portfolio in 2016. Alan is currently a Director of the Oxford Farming Conference. 

"There are so many great initiatives going on in rural Scotland that often go unseen. The Helping It Happen awards are a great opportunity to celebrate landowners, farmers and businesses working together to make our rural economy thrive.  I am delighted to be involved in recognising those who work hard to get new ideas off the ground."

Julia Latto

Julia Latto

Rural Operations Team, Scottish Enterprise Project Manager

A native of Hawick, Julia joined Scottish Enterprise (SE) in 1995 following a career in the Textiles industry. Julia's career over the past 22 years has seen her involved in a number of areas within the organisation including PA/office management, event management, stakeholder/relationship management and project management. Since 2009 Julia's portfolio has included designing and managing the Rural Leadership and Harvesting the Growth Programmes and associated alumni activities as well as looking for new opportunities to add value across SE's rural economic development activities. 

Passionate about leadership development and economic growth, during 2013/14 Julia was a visiting Researcher at Edinburgh University looking at rural leadership and collaboration. In 2016 Julia graduated with a BA in Business and Enterprise from Edinburgh Napier University. 

Julia travels extensively as part of her role (both in the UK and internationally) to learn and share best practice on rural leadership and economic growth. She is a member of the International Association of Programmes for Agriculture and Rural Leaders and various other networking groups relating to rural economic development. 

"Julia is delighted to be supporting the Helping It Happen Awards and be part of the judging panel. With over 20 years experience in economic development and supporting an alumni of over 450 ambitious business leaders as part of her role in managing Scottish Enterprise's Rural Leadership Programme, Julia is particularly keen to see innovative examples of landowners on estates and farms driving economic growth, creating jobs and benefiting the wider rural community."

Lucy Beattie

Lucy Beattie

Leckmelm Estate Owner

Lucy is the owner of Leckmelm Estate, near Ullapool in the north-west of Scotland. 

As well as being a working farm and a prime holiday destination on the shores of Loch broom, Leckmelm is a living, working community that has been in existence long before Ullapool. Currently there are 11 families who live on the estate, totalling 22 adults and 13 children. 

Lucy is a previous winner of our first-ever Highlands and Islands Region Chairman's Helping It Happen Award, which recognised the exceptional assistance Lucy has been providing to help pupils from Ullapool High School gain a Rural Skills Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) since 2007. 

Under the guidance of West Highland College and Ullapool High School, the pupils have particpated in a variety of traditional rural skills, animal handling and estate maintenance tasks as part of their National Qualifications. 

"These awards represent a chance to celebrate the unknown heroes of the communities in which they work.  I am passionate about the role of land management, agriculture and community development within rural Scotland.  I am greatly honoured to be on the judging panel and am particularly looking forward to exploring the diversity of land use and the people who manage land for the benefit of their local area."

Ian McKee

Ian McKee

GLM Managing Director and co-founder

"Across rural Scotland we see many brilliant and diverse projects bringing together land-owners, land users and community. The Helping It Happen Awards draw together the good news and success stories and allow a celebration of all that is great about rural Scotland. I am delighted to be part of this year’s judging panel and to learn more of the work done across rural Scotland by many unsung heroes"

Ian McKee is the managing director and co-founder of GLM, a firm located in Edinburgh and Inverness.  GLM is a full-service company.  Our ability to appraise, design, construct, manage and operate sets us apart in the market giving clients a unique opportunity to engage with a professional adviser and facilitator who understands the challenges beyond the building.  This comes from the experience we have building, managing and operating our own properties and those of our partners and clients. 

With a focus on sustainable tourism through rural diversification, we specialise in the creation, reuse and adaptation of buildings and land where we bring to bear our sharp insight, imaginative design and effective implementation, ensuring the projects we work on stand proud and will stand the test of time. And, if we can do this with the lightest touch, doing more with less, then all the better!

Ian has delivered tourism and visitor facilities throughout Scotland and the UK and has advised on projects in Europe and the US. With a focus on the use or repurposing of heritage assets and their integration into a wider tourism strategy, a richer, more sustainable visitor experience is delivered.  A lifelong cyclist and mountain biker, he is particularly interested in wilderness and adventure tourism and has advised both private organisations and public bodies on the development of related facilities. Keen to promote Scotland as the number one choice for adventure tourism, Ian is currently engaged in projects to provide for this growing market.

A chartered building surveyor, Ian is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), of which he is a past Scottish Chairman and is a Fellow of the Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE).


Graeme McNaughton

Barclays Director - Agriculture and Landed Estates, Scotland

Graeme is a Chartered Banker with 37 years of experience and leads Barclays Landed Estates Team in Scotland. He works with clients and their trusted advisors to structure banking solutions that suit the family and the Estate as a whole for a totally bespoke solution.