David Cochrane, Chief Executive of Hospitality Industry Trust Scotland (HIT), has been awarded an MBE in the Queens’ birthday honours list announced today.

David, 52, from Milnathort, Kinross has been recognised for his pivotal role in spearheading the hospitality charity’s scholarship programme which has transformed the lives of young people carving out a career in the hospitality sector.


Under David’s guidance, HIT Scotland has raised in-excess of £4 million and awarded over 10,000 bursaries and 2,000 scholarships. HIT’s Scholarship & Bursary programmes are estimated to return £1 million annually to the hospitality industry in new skills, promoting best practice, improving staff retention and encouraging professional development.


Well regarded in the industry, David offers his time as a volunteer to champion the sector and is an active member of many industry forums, including the Scottish Government’s Tourism Skills Group, as trustee of Dynamic Earth (one of Scotland’s top tourist attractions) and as a fellow of the Institute of Hospitality.


Commenting on the award, David said:

“I am deeply honoured and humbled by this award. What has been achieved by HIT Scotland would not have been possible without the commitment and ambition of our Trustees and Exec team who have played a huge part in the success of the charity, alongside members of the industry who have given generously of their time, hospitality and funds to make such a positive impact on our sector.

“This comes at a really difficult time for the sector as we grapple with the catastrophic impact of Covid-19.  This has certainly tested our resilience but again the industry has demonstrated real ingenuity in overcoming the many obstacles we face.  The ambition and drive to look to the future is shining through and HIT is proud to be part of this incredible industry.”


Chair of HIT Scotland and Chief Executive of Apex Hotels, Angela Vickers said:

“I can truly say that David is devoted to the industry and its betterment. Throughout his working life from Gleneagles, to Springboard Charity, to HIT Scotland he has championed the cause by promoting Hospitality as a sustainable occupation. Through his work at HIT David has assisted hundreds of students into education, employment, progression and genuinely enhanced careers.  I would like to pass on my congratulations, and that of all the HIT trustees, to David and his family.”

Biography – David Cochrane, Chief Executive Hospitality Industry Trust, Scotland. (HIT Scotland)

After commencing his career at the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, David started working for Norfolk Capital Hotels. He then joined Gardner Merchant, now called Sodexo, as a chef manger, progressing to District Training Coordinator.


This training experience led him into the Hotel and Catering Training Company, working with Youth Training and unemployment projects. He also undertook a Leonardo da Vinci European project to help implement Vocational Qualifications in Scottish prisons!


David has been the Training Manager at the internationally renowned Gleneagles hotel. He developed his passion for people development, and this led him naturally to take on the role of Chief Executive of HIT Scotland.


In 2004 David was awarded the Industry Award for services to the hospitality industry in Scotland. Since working with HIT Scotland the Trust has awarded over 3000 scholarships for the emerging talent of the industry and 14,000 student bursaries. He took part in the successful Kilimanjaro challenge in 2011, The Gran Paradiso Challenge in Italy in 2014 and the Great Wall of China Challenge in 2017! In 2012 he was awarded an honorary degree in International Hospitality Management from Higher Institute of Education - Glion and he was honoured with the Education and Training “Catey” UK award the same year. Latterly in 2019 he organised another successful fundraising trek to Machu Picchu. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality and Strathclyde Business school.


We couldn't be happier for you David, you deserve this.


Hotel News Scotland


16 November 2020

Rogue City Hotel Group resumes building work on new Glasgow Hotel

In Glasgow, construction is underway transforming a late B-listed 1800’s former tribunal court into a new 98-bedroom bou…

Read More
Hotels for sale
10 November 2020

New Luxury Hotel Opportunity in the West End of Glasgow

The ten bedroom detached property on 46 Gray Street has been run as a successful luxury B&B for the last 15 years, but c…

Read More
Crieff Hydro
18 November 2020

Crieff Hydro Group relaunch gin brand

The unveiling coincides with Charlie Leckie, a sixth generation member of the Leckie family, taking the helm of the awar…

Read More
12 November 2020

Gleneagles Closes Tomorrow Until February

The golf course and membership leisure facilities will remain open during the temporary closure of the Perthshire hotel.

Read More

If you need marketing support for your hotel or tourism business please visit our partners tourismmarketing.agency