Lord Smith of Kelvin, the owner of the island of Inchmarnock off Bute’s west coast, will oversee the process of devolving additional powers over tax, spending and welfare to Scotland following the ‘No’ vote in the country’s independence referendum.
Lord Smith, who chaired the organising committee for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, will chair the Scotland Devolution Commission announced by Prime Minister David Cameron on Friday morning.
His role will be to oversee the devolution commitments outlined by the leaders of the three main UK parties in the week leading up to Thursday’s vote.
Lord Smith, who was knighted in 1999 and made a life peer in 2008, is the chairman of Scottish and Southern Energy, a non-executive director of Standard Bank Group Limited and was made the first chair of the British Green Investment Bank in May 2012.
He purchased Inchmarnock in March 1999, and just two months later commissioned an Edinburgh firm, Headland Archaeology, to carry out a major archaeological excavation of the small island which lasted for seven years.
Even closer to Bute, Lord Smith also agreed in February of this year to become the honorary patron of the Baird of Bute Society, set up to honour the achievement of Bute blacksmith Andrew Baird, who undertook Scotland’s first heavier-than-air powered flight in an aeroplane of his own design and construction at Ettrick Bay in September 1910.
Coincidentally, this weekend sees the annual celebration of Baird’s achievement on Bute, with a gathering of light aircraft at the island’s airstrip at Kingarth from 10.30am on Saturday morning and family activities, and a fly-past, at Ettrick Bay from 1pm (see separate article also published on this site this morning).
The society’s annual awards for aviation and innovation will be presented to Glasgow Airport managing director Amanda McMillan and engineer Craig Clark, the man behind Scotland’s first satellite, at a dinner in Rothesay on Friday evening.