Brian Wilson, who is chairman of Harris Tweed Hebrides, based in Shawbost, has been awarded CBE in the New Year Honours list.
Brian, who was recently 71, was MP for Cunninghame North from 1987 until 2005 and served as a Minister of State in the UK Government from 1997 to 2003 – holding responsibilities in different ministries including Trade, Industry and Africa – and Scotland prior to Devolution. He played a key role in the development of the community land ownership movement and the further development of the University of the Highlands and Islands, and Gaelic broadcasting.
Brian played a pivotal role in the creation of Harris Tweed Hebrides from the industrial debris left by the previous generation of tweed manufacturers and hence the creation of the modern, worldwide version of the industry. For his work with Harris Tweed Hebrides, he was named Global Director of the Year at the Institute of Directors Scottish awards ceremony in February 2011. He was then named UK Global Director of the Year at IoD Awards in September 2011.
Brian is also a director of Celtic Football Club and Visiting Professor in the International Public Policy Institute at the University of Strathclyde.
Born in 1948 in Dunoon, he studied at the University of Dundee and University College, Cardiff - where he was one of the first intake of 16 to the first-ever postgraduate journalism course in the UK, run by Tom Hopkinson of Picture Post fame.
Brian was the founding editor and publisher of the West Highland Free Press newspaper which he established along with three friends from Dundee University.