Tom Brock's Story
Tom Brock went to USA and Canada in 1992 to study waterside regeneration.
In 1992 Tom was working on projects to revitalise canals in different parts of the UK. He was keen that Britain’s historic waterways be used as a focus and a catalyst in regeneration projects. Tom visited leading waterside revitalisation projects in North America and met the key people involved. He saw how North American waterways were being used, managed and developed.
It was evident to him that there was much to be learnt from each other and that effective communication between organisations and countries could bring about significant benefits for all.
On his return, Tom was able to apply what he had learned in North America to waterside projects that he was working on in the UK including Birmingham, the Black Country and Central Scotland.
To improve cooperation between countries, he helped to set up the twinning of the Caledonian Canal in Scotland with the Rideau Canal in Canada and organised the first World Canals Conference in 1996. The conference has grown significantly and is now an annual event that has been hosted by a variety of countries throughout Asia, Europe and North America.
In 1998, Tom joined the Scottish Seabird Centre as Chief Executive. After opening in 2000 the Centre has successfully revitalised North Berwick as a tourist attraction and rejuvenated the town’s historic harbour area. The Centre (a community based charity) has won numerous awards including the Queen’s Award for Enterprise (on three occasions). Tom is also a trustee of Keep Scotland Beautiful and a Board member of the Forth Estuary Forum.
Tom has continually campaigned for Scotland to become Europe’s leading wildlife tourism destination. He is a frequent speaker and chair at tourism, wildlife and sustainability conferences and acts as a national and international tourism consultant on behalf of The Scottish Seabird Centre.
Tom was awarded an OBE for services to tourism in 2006.