STEVE Dunlop has been appointed to lead Scottish Enterprise, the country’s main economic development agency.

Dunlop will replace Lena Wilson as chief executive next month, after running the Scottish Canals network for 12 years.

Previously the 56-year-old worked at Falkirk Council and Newcastle City Council.

Dunlop, who will receive a basic salary of £168,000, said: “There has never been a more important time to help Scottish businesses grow and internationalise.”

Keith Brown, economy minister, welcomed the appointment and described Dunlop as a “talented leader with a fantastic ability to bring people, partners and stakeholders with him in driving meaningful and sustainable change”.