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Skills Academy CodeClan Appoints Bill Douglas as New Chair

Michael Behr


CodeClan Polly Purvis OBE and Bill Douglas

CodeClan founder and previous chair Polly Purvis will step down in favour of Bill Douglas.

Scottish Digital Skills Academy CodeClan has appointed Bill Douglas as its new chair. He will replace the previous chair and CodeClan founder Polly Purvis, who has served since the group was founded five years ago.

After graduating in communications & electronics engineering from Edinburgh Napier University, Douglas has worked in leadership positions at companies including RBS, VeriSIM and Zonal Retail Data Systems. As such, he has experience working in the manufacturing and software sectors at a managing director level.

Douglas has been a member of CodeClan’s board of directors since May 2015.

Commenting on his new position, Douglas said: “CodeClan has the very real potential to be front and centre of the advancement of digital skills in Scotland at a time which is both a tipping point for all things digital and challenging economic environment.

“The dedication to success of our leadership team, our board, our trainers, our students and our graduates is something which makes me very energised about the road ahead and I can’t wait to get started in my new role.”

Since starting up in 2015, CodeClan has offered a range of digital skills classes. It recently added a cybersecurity course to address the rise in cyberattacks. The academy recently passed 1,000 graduates, showing its resilience during the Covid-19 pandemic.

CodeClan CEO Melinda Matthews-Clarkson said: “Polly Purvis is in the very DNA of CodeClan, the team and I have the very highest regard for everything Polly has done to get us to the position we find ourselves in today and we are beyond pleased that we will be able to continue to rely on her wise counsel going forward.

“In Bill Douglas, we have the perfect person to help guide CodeClan through its next phase of growth.”


With CodeClan seeing increased demand for its Data Analysis course from its employer network and candidates, Matthews-Clarkson says this is proof of Scotland’s growing reputation for data-driven innovation.

She added: “When you look at how initiatives like the City Region Deal have led to the scaling up of data infrastructure here in Edinburgh alone, at the University of Edinburgh’s Bayes Centre or Heriot-Watt’s GRID facility, the continuing success of The Data Lab or how global technology group Truspilot set up its international R&D hub in Scotland this summer, you can see that data-specific roles are only going to increase in the months and years ahead.”

CodeClan has campuses in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness, with the firm’s team and students either back on campus or planning to get back on campus in combination with a remote learning virtual classroom model that was initiated earlier this year in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Michael Behr

Senior Staff Writer

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