Nicola Barclay

Nicola Barclay MRTPI - Chief Executive

Becoming Homes for Scotland (HFS) Chief Executive on 1 February 2016, Nicola Barclay has direct responsibility for managing the Executive Team, delivering business strategy and meeting the wide-ranging needs of member companies.

With a career spanning over 20 years in the home building industry and stretching over sales, land acquisition and planning, Nicola is ideally placed to take the organisation forward at what is a pivotal time, not only for the organisation but also for housing in Scotland in general.

Focused on working collaboratively with stakeholders at all levels to find solutions to the crucial issues hampering housing delivery, Nicola’s key objectives in helping to make sure Scotland has enough homes to meet the diverse needs of its growing population are:

  •  ensuring buyer access to mortgages for those who can sustainably afford them
  • ensuring that local authorities allocate sufficient effective land in places people want to live and develop practical solutions to the matter of infrastructure provision
  • highlighting the importance of new home development to sustaining local communities
  • encouraging more young people, especially females, into the industry across both trades and professions

Previously HFS Principal Planning Advisor and Director of Planning before becoming Chief Executive, Nicola’s experience also includes working with Scottish Futures Trust as well as with a number of member companies.

A graduate of Heriot-Watt University, Nicola became a Chartered Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute in 1998 and is an active member of Women in Property. She also currently sits on the Scottish Government’s Joint Housing Policy & Delivery Group, the CITB Scotland Nation Council, NHBC Scottish committee and the Consumer Code for Home Builders' Board.  

Passionate about encouraging younger people into the industry, Nicola has mentored a number of individuals over the years and thoroughly enjoys seeing their careers take off.

She has formed a charity partnership between HFS and Habitat for Humanity Great Britain and travelled to India in January 2017 to work on a build for a family within a rural tribal community. She is heading out to Kenya in April 2019 with 20 HFS members to work on her next build.


Nicola's housing journey:

Having grown up in a work-tied 17th century cottage with single glazing and storage heaters that never seemed to work, I really appreciate the warmth and comfort of the home I’m in now. I’ve lived in a number of rented and mortgaged homes throughout Edinburgh, from my first student flat in Marchmont, to our first time buyer ‘one bed and a box’ flat in Montgomery Street. We’ve moved a few times over the years as the kids have come along, and the family has expanded, but we’ve been in our present home in Liberton for over 12 years now. 

When we wanted to create more living space we seriously considered moving but couldn’t find anything in our price range that was as convenient for both town and country, so decided to extend instead. Living with the disruption was not much fun but, now that it’s complete, I’m delighted with the result. Having the extra space has allowed our son and his girlfriend to move in with us while they save up for their own place. With the cost of renting so high, there’s no other way that I could see them being able to afford to save a deposit. Just don’t want them to get too comfortable or they might never leave!



Play your part and become a member today

Help us deliver the new homes that Scotland needs