Lord Smith of Kelvin, the owner of the island of Inchmarnock off Bute’s west coast, is to become the honorary patron of the Baird of Bute Society.
The appointment of Lord Smith, who is also the chancellor of the University of Strathclyde and the chair of the organising committee for the Glasgow 21014 Commonwealth Games, was announced by Christopher Markwell, chairman of the Baird of Bute Society’s board of trustees.
The society was formed in 2010 to honour the memory and achievements of Bute blacksmith Andrew Blain Baird, who undertook the first all-Scottish heavier-than-air powered flight at Ettrick Bay in September 1910, by promoting a range ofawards in education, innovation and aviation.
Mr Markwell said: “We are very pleased that in becoming honorary patron Lord Smith has added his prestige and credibility to the fulfillment of the objectives of the society. It is anticipated that the society will benefit from his unique experience and guidance for many years to come.”
Lord Smith is also chairman of Scottish & Southern Energy plc and of the UK Green Investment Bank, and was chairman of the Weir Group plc from 2002 to 2013. He is a non-executive director of Standard Bank Group plc, a past chairman of the National Museums of Scotland, a former chief executive of Deutsche Asset Management and served as president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland.
The Baird of Bute Society presents annual awards for outstanding contributions to aviation and innovation in Scotland, and offers a range of scholarships to Scottish children and promotes academic excellence, creativity and entrepreneurial activity.
It is also the organising body for an annual commemoration on Bute of Baird’s achievements, an event which regularly attracts light aircraft from all over Scotland.