Scottish Book Trust Appoints Four New Board Members

James Saville
Category: Press Releases

Scottish Book Trust is delighted to announce the appointment of four new members to its Board of Trustees. The national charity now has 10 board members overseeing its work transforming lives through reading and writing.

Fiona McLeod, Andy Marchant, James Saville and Hilde Watne Frydnes each bring extensive experience and accomplishments in their respective fields to their new roles in the charity’s governance.

Scottish Book Trust runs targeted outreach programmes across the country, achieving engagement and impact across all ages and backgrounds. Among its best-known Scotland-wide activities are Bookbug, which gifts books to every child at four key age stages, from birth to early primary school; Live Literature which delivers author experiences in classrooms; and Book Week Scotland, an annual national celebration of books and reading.

The four new board members add depth to an already strong Board of Trustees that includes employees from academia, education and leadership, the BBC, Royal Society of Edinburgh and Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland.

Fiona McLeod is a former MSP and was the acting Minister for Children and Young People 2014 to 2015. She has worked in most library sectors, specialised in health, and was Chair of SLIC (the Scottish Library and Information Council) from 2011 to 2014. Fiona served on Ofcom’s Scottish Advisory Committee from 2004 to 2006, was Chair of East Dunbartonshire Children’s Panel Advisory Committee (EDCPAC) from 2004 to 2008, and was a member of the Commission on Parliamentary Reform 2016 to 2017. She retired in 2016.

Andy Marchant is a freelance consultant working with financial services companies, management consultants and charities, on their business plans and marketing strategies. He previously held Managing Director and Marketing Director roles at Aegon, Direct Line and Royal Bank of Scotland, during a 25-year career in retail financial services. His experience in strategy and innovation, customer experience management and product, channel and brand development, includes launching the UK’s first internet banking service as well as the first online savings and loan accounts.

James Saville has been the Director of People, Operations and Systems at the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID) for the past five years. His team were the 2015 Scottish HR Network team of the year for their response to the Ebola crisis for staff working in West Africa. James also won the Civil Service Diversity Award for Champion of Disability Issues in 2014 for his work on reducing workplace mental health stigma. James's early HR career was in food manufacturing. He subsequently held several senior HR roles at HBOS plc and ran his own business working with clients in the Financial Services and Oil and Gas sectors. He has previously worked as a Trustee with a drugs charity in Edinburgh and has been a mentor and coach to a number of Scottish-based small businesses.

Hilde Watne Frydnes brings a range of digital experience from local and global business success stories to Scottish Book Trust. After getting a Master's Degree in Comparative Literature in her native Norway, Hilde started her career in Google's EMEA headquarters in Dublin, developing advertising strategies for large businesses. She then joined global travel search engine Skyscanner in Edinburgh to lead their paid search marketing. Hilde has since worked for the Edinburgh International Festival, been involved in several local tech start-ups and founded her own digital marketing consultancy. She is currently Head of Marketing at Glasgow-based travel firm Macs Adventure, and volunteers on the Creative Edinburgh mentoring programme. 

Keir Bloomer, Chair of Scottish Book Trust’s Board of Trustees, said: “We were delighted to receive so many strong applications to join our Board of Trustees and I am very pleased to welcome our new members. They each have extensive relevant experience and lots of enthusiasm for taking forward our vision and passion to promote a thriving reading culture in Scotland.

“This is a key time to be involved in shaping the future of our work as we continue to grow the reach of our programmes and the impact of our services. Our board members play a core part in driving forward our aim: that everyone in Scotland has an equal opportunity to thrive through literacy.”

Notes to editors

For all media enquiries and images please contact Lindsay Clydesdale, Media and PR Manager, on or 0131 524 0175 or 07766 725595.

About Scottish Book Trust

Scottish Book Trust is a national charity changing lives through reading and writing. We inspire and support the people of Scotland to read and write for pleasure through programmes and outreach work that include:

  • Giving free books to every child in Scotland to ensure families of all backgrounds can share the joy of books at home.
  • Working with teachers to inspire children to develop a love of reading, creating innovative classrooms activities, book awards and author events.
  • Supporting Scotland’s diverse writing community with our training, awards and writing opportunities.
  • Funding a range of author events for the public to enjoy and promoting Scottish writing to people worldwide.   @scottishbktrust

Scottish Book Trust Board of Trustees

Keir Bloomer (Chair), Independent Education Consultant

Don Ledingham, Chief Executive at Ceannas, a leadership development consultancy

Professor Willy Maley, Professor of English Literature at University of Glasgow

Catherine Smith, Head of Strategy and member of Executive Board at BBC Scotland

Jackie Taylor (Treasurer), Head of Finance at Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland

Dr Rebekah Widdowfield, Chief Executive at Royal Society of Edinburgh

Fiona McLeod, Retired MSP and Librarian

Andy Marchant, Management Consultant at Marchant Consulting

James Saville, Director of People, Operations and Systems at DFID (Department for International Development)

Hilde Watne Frydnes, Head of Marketing at Macs Adventure