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OIC development and infrastructure director to leave for new role

Gavin Barr is to depart Orkney Islands Council after 14 years.

The executive director of Orkney Islands Council’s (OIC) development and infrastructure department, Gavin Barr, is to leave the authority after 14 years.

Mr Barr has been announced as the new managing director of Orkney-based consultancy firm Aquatera Ltd.

He will begin his new role in August and leaves OIC after over 14 years, the last nine of which has been as the head of development and infrastructure.

His appointment comes as part of a major restructure at Aquatera, creating a new group that covers the 15 businesses it operates and participates in.

Gareth Davies will lead the group in a new role as chairman of Aquatera Group, with Mr Barr the managing director of the group’s consultancy arm, leading over 30 staff at the company’s Stromness headquarters.

Mr Barr’s departure from OIC comes amid a senior management restructure, and an ongoing investigation into the development and infrastructure department’s £1.4million stone order from Glensanda Quarry.

Interim chief executive of OIC, John Mundell, said: “Gavin has made a tremendous contribution to the work of the council since he joined the organisation in 2007.

“While I am pleased that he will be taking on such an important role with a prominent local company, I am very sorry he is leaving us. He will be greatly missed.

“On behalf of elected members and council colleagues, I wish Gavin all the very best when he takes up his new career over the months ahead.”

Reflecting on the move himself, Mr Barr said: “It has been a great privilege to work with colleagues and elected members during my time with the council, and I am very thankful for the support they have provided and the opportunities that my roles have given me.

“I am also immensely proud of the work that has been undertaken across D and I in providing core and lifeline services for our community and in the many successes that the team have achieved. I wish the team all success in their future endeavours.

“I very much hope and look forward to being able to continue to contribute and work alongside current colleagues after the summer under the wider Team Orkney banner.

“In that regard I am exceptionally pleased to have the opportunity to join Gareth and the Aquatera team at this time of immense opportunity for environmentally responsible and progressive development and innovation activities locally in and around Orkney, and globally.”

Gareth Davies, present MD of Aquatera and chairman of Aquatera Group, added: “Myself, the Aquatera board and the wider Aquatera team are delighted that Gavin will be joining us later in the summer to help push forwards Aquatera’s progressive services to support the response to the climate emergency and COVID recovery, as well as contributing to the ongoing and ongoing challenges of balancing sustainable development and achieving good environmental stewardship.”

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