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SFHA Finance Conference 2021
Crieff Hydro Hotel

Book Now


Tue 16 - Wed 17, Nov from
10:00 to 14:30 (BST)


Crieff Hydro Hotel
Strathearn House, Ferntower Road, Crieff, PH7 3LQ


From £550

About the conference

SFHA’s highly regarded finance conference returns to Crieff Hydro on 16 and 17 November 2021. At a time when housing associations are continuing to manage the changes caused by the pandemic – while also looking to the future and preparing to meet the challenges of net-zero development amid cost increases – this year’s event is not to be missed.

Sessions will cover the following topics:

  • financial resilience
  • the growing focus on rent and affordability
  • ESG and sustainability
  • meeting the costs of net-zero
  • investor appetite in social housing
  • the changing regulatory environment
  • Housing to 2040

The 2021 SFHA Finance Conference is planned to be an in-person conference and will be run in accordance with the latest government guidelines.

As always, with extensive input from professionals working in housing Finance, the conference will provide updates on the key issues you need to know about. It’s also the long-awaited opportunity to network safely with colleagues across the country. 


As we have done in previous years, once you have booked your place we would appreciate if you could make your workshop choices by clicking here 

What we are doing to ensure your safety

The safety of our delegates, speakers, sponsors and exhibitors and our staff team is of paramount importance to SFHA. We are working with our suppliers to make sure the event is safe and secure for all our attendees. 

There will be a number of measures at the event to help minimise any risk:  

  • mandatory mask wearing 
  • increased spacing between aisles and chairs, and spaced queueing  
  • larger conference space with improved ventilation 
  • staggered arrival and workshop entry times 
  • doors open where possible to reduce surface contact 
  • physical materials reduced with digital alternatives e.g. programme app 
  • enhanced cleaning and hand sanitising 
  • contactless payment where possible 

Crieff Hydro Hotel

To ensure the safety of their guests Crieff Hydro Hotel have created the Hydro Health Promise, read the Hydro Health promise here to find out what they are doing to look after your safety.

Carbon consultancy & sustainability

As part of our efforts to run more sustainable events, we are working with Conference Care and their Carbon Consultancy to reduce the carbon footprint of the conference.

Conference Care has been Carbon Neutral since 2010 and believe that some of the best practices can be put into use by sharing with their customers and creating a more sustainably focused events industry, which is why they have developed Carbon Consultancy by Conference Care.

We are asking you to tell us about your travel, accommodation and any specific catering needs for the conference. It only takes a few minutes to complete and your information. enables us to measure the overall carbon footprint of our Finance Conference and gain advice on how to reduce this footprint.

To help us to undertake our carbon consultancy work, we are asking attendees to complete a short form by close of play Monday 18 October. Please only complete the form once you have booked to attend.

Your help with this work is greatly appreciated and if you have any questions please contact mstephen@sfha.co.uk

We are also launching our brand new events sustainability policy at this year’s Finance Conference, click here to view the policy.

Is this the conference for you?

The conference is aimed at all finance directors, managers, officers and other staff who have an interest in housing association and co-operative financial issues, including Chief Executives and Directors. Governing body members, consultants, local and central government and other professionals working on financial issues in the affordable housing sector will also find the conference of interest. 

Costs and how to book

Residential and day places are available and costs are held at 2019 rates. You can book your place by clicking BOOK NOW.

  • Attend both days and SAVE!  
  • Book 3 DAY* places and get the 4th DAY free

*This is only available with day place and does not apply to residential places.

Book with confidence 

We want you to feel confident about booking to attend our Finance Conference – or any other SFHA event. In the event that the conference cannot operate in-person, it may be run as a virtual event and a partial refund will be issued. 

Please contact a member of the SFHA Events Team if you have any questions : 


Member Price £550

Non-member Price £870

SFHA Finance Conference 2021 at Crieff Hydro Hotel

Strathearn House, Ferntower Road, Crieff, PH7 3LQ


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Main Sponsor


Tea & Coffee Sponsor

CAF Bank

Drinks Sponsor


Carbon Consultancy Sponsor


Dinner Sponsor

Utility Aid

Lunch Sponsor

Thistle Insurance Services

Programme Listings


Michael Cameron profile image

Michael Cameron
Scottish Housing Regulator

Michael is the Chief Executive of the Scottish Housing Regulator.

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Michael is the Chief Executive and accountable officer, responsible for managing and directing the organisation to fulfil its purpose and meet its objectives.

Alix Bedford profile image

Alix Bedford

Alix Bedford is Risk Proposition Manager at Zurich Municipal. A strategic risk professional with over 18 years’ experience working both with and within the public sector, Alix is passionate about the value of risk management and its role in driving improved resilience of organisations and communities. 

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Her current role involves looking at the key emerging and evolving areas of risk impacting the public sector now and in the future and leading Zurich Municipal’s response to these. Alix is also leading on the Sustainability agenda for Zurich Municipal, looking at Climate, Workforce and Data risk areas particularly.

Colin MacBean profile image

Colin MacBean
Scottish Government

Colin is the recently appointed Deputy Director heading up More Homes division in the Scottish Government. Colin joined the Civil Service as a professional economist and spent the first 15 years of his career providing economic advice on a wide range of issues including Transport, Energy and Climate Change, Education, Environment and the Macro Economy.

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He transferred across to policy work where he led the team dealing with Waste and the Circular Economy before being appointed as the Deputy Director for Enterprise and Innovation.

In his spare time Colin likes watching wildlife and being in wild places.

Eileen Barr profile image

Eileen Barr
TC Young

Eileen Barr has worked in TC Youngs' Commercial Department since she began her legal traineeship. Her knowledge of housing organisations and the diversity of Eileen’s experience means that she can assist on a variety of legal matters.

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As part of her key role in our commercial team, Eileen assists clients with the negotiation of loan documentation with major lenders and advises on financial legal paperwork to re-finance loans with lenders – including providing reports to Committee on refinanced loan terms.

Eileen assists RSL clients in complying with Freedom of Information and the Environmental Information Regulations. She was commissioned by SFHA and GWSF to produce FOI template documents and guidance for their members. Eileen frequently provides FOI training to RSLs and speaks at sector events about FOI.

She offers advice to organisations regarding company incorporation, setting up subsidiaries, and other issues relating to corporate structures.

Eileen provides guidance to clients on compliance with a number of regulatory regimes including procurement and Registered Social Landlord governance.

She also undertakes the negotiation of terms of contractual documentation on behalf of clients including commercial leases and service contracts.   

Lisa Gallagher profile image

Lisa Gallagher
Flexibility Works

Lisa Gallagher is Co-Founder and Director of Flexibility Works- a social business dedicated to supporting employers to create flexible workplaces in Scotland. She is one of Scotland’s leading experts in flexible working and is a media commentator and public speaker on the topic

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Lisa been the Director of third sector and private sector organisations including INSP- International Network of Street Papers and activpayroll. Lisa is also a Saltire Fellow for Entrepreneurship and has served on the boards of The Homeless World Cup, Impact Arts and the Network of International Development Organisations. She has three young boys who keep her busy. 

Alex Barker profile image

Alex Barker
Be More Pirate

Alex Barker is a facilitator, consultant, speaker and community builder. She teamed up with author Sam Conniff in early 2019 to develop Be More Pirate from a book into a social movement and went on to co-write the sequel How to: Be More Pirate and produce their podcast

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As a consultant, she works across the public and private sector on innovation, culture change and employee activism. Previously, Alex was communications manager at think tank the RSA (Royal Society of Arts). 

Geraldine Begg profile image

Geraldine Begg
Scottish Federation of Housing Associations

Geraldine is Technology Enabled Care in Housing (TECH) programme co-ordinator at SFHA. For over 20 years she has developed and delivered services that maximise independent living for people living in Scotland. 

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 Geraldine has been involved in the successful delivery of a wide range of local and national initiatives and her practice demonstrates a strong commitment to customer engagement and partnership working. For the last 5 years Geraldine has worked in the field of Technology Enabled Care leading on improvement and service integration projects. Though a strong exponent of the use of technology Geraldine is always quick to stress People First

Gary Haldane profile image

Gary Haldane
Kingdom Housing Association

Gary joined Kingdom in 1993, in a finance role and moved into technology a few years later.  Gary graduated from Napier University in 2015, with a Masters degree in ICT Leadership.

Gary is responsible for the strategic and operational digital activities at Kingdom. The end goal is to ensure employees have quick access to great systems.


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In 2015, Kingdom moved servers to a data centre in southern England and have since implemented Google Cloud Platform to host legacy systems, providing fast browser access using chrome devices. A cloud first strategy was introduced in 2018 with an emphasis on SaaS.

Stephanie Harper profile image

Stephanie Harper
Change HR

Stephanie is passionate about helping organisations do the right thing the right way through her company Change HR Ltd. Her career path includes law firms, heading up HR in an RSL and, delivering a governance service across Scotland.  

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She is also a Trustee at a local University and a non-executive Director of a social housing development consultancy. Her practical experience within the sector means that she is best placed to understand the practical challenges.  Stephanie brings over 30 years’ experience of driving through transformational change within organisations, helping them to be even more inclusive and improve their service delivery.     

Brian Gannon profile image

Brian Gannon
West of Scotland Housing Association

Brian has been Chief Executive of West of Scotland Housing Association since September 2019. West of Scotland has around 3,500 homes in Glasgow, Lanarkshire and Ayrshire with a staff team of around 100 across the West of Scotland Group. 

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Brian is a member of the Chartered Institute of Housing and brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to WSHA from his years working in the housing sector, including roles at 3 other housing associations.  Prior to joining WSHA, Brian was Head of Housing & Community Regeneration at Thenue Housing Association. Brian is leading a team helping to deliver WSHA’s new Green Strategy.  

Shona Marshall profile image

Shona Marshall
Connect Three

Shona Marshall is a learning and talent development specialist with a passion for unlocking talent to drive personal, team and organisational performance.

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With over 20 years corporate experience primarily in the engineering, construction and housebuilding sectors, she gained a reputation for having an inquisitive yet challenging approach to enable individuals to be the best they can be. Her drive to deliver meaningful and sustainable behaviour change by creating interventions and framing conversations to help others be and do what they want most creates success at both an operational and strategic level. She is now enjoying being able to satisfy her passion by working as an executive coach, facilitator, and consultant.


David McKinlay  profile image

David McKinlay

David is a Chartered Tax Adviser working in our Edinburgh office. He has over 15 years VAT experience and previously was a VAT officer with HM Revenue & Customs.

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David has extensive VAT experience working with a variety of clients in the Charity and Not for Profit Sector, in particular RSLs, advising on a broad range of VAT issues in connection with their VAT compliance obligations, VAT planning as well as the effective management of VAT costs. David is a VAT Partial Exemption specialist.  

Sally Thomas profile image

Sally Thomas
Scottish Federation of Housing Associations

Sally Thomas is Chief Executive at the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA), the national representative body for Scotland’s housing associations and co-operatives. 

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 She has worked for several housing associations in London and the North East of England, most recently as Head of Community Investment at North Star Housing Group.  Previously, she worked for the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), on regeneration at an urban development corporation, as director of a consultancy specialising in community-based development and leading on social purpose and wider role at the Housing Associations Charitable Trust (HACT).

She has co-authored several publications for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Chartered Institute of Housing, HACT, think tanks and government departments.  The most recent is ‘Acting on Localism: the role of housing associations in driving a community agenda’, published by Respublica.

She has chaired and served on a variety of boards in the housing, arts, health and charitable sectors.

Ian Brennan profile image

Ian Brennan
Scottish Housing Regulator

Ian Brennan is Director of Regulation at the Scottish Housing Regulator. He is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered and Certified Accountants. He also holds a business degree from the University of Strathclyde and an MBA from the University of Glasgow.

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Ian joined the Board of Historic Environment Scotland in a non-executive capacity on 1 November 2016. From November 2013 until July 2016 he was a member of the Board of Glasgow Kelvin College where he chaired the Financial Control Committee.

Previously Ian has held positions in higher education, the NHS and the Accounts Commission. He has also worked for a number of accountancy firms.


Paul Bellamy profile image

Paul Bellamy
Blackwood Homes

Paul Bellamy is Property Investment Manager with Blackwood Homes & Care, a leading specialist housing and care provider across Scotland, focussed on helping people live independently.

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With 20 years’ experience in the social housing sector, Paul is currently on secondment to Scottish Government, leading the first review of the Housing for Varying Needs design guide since its original publication in 1998.  The updated guide aims to provide up-to-date advice to promote improved design, accessibility and adaptability to better meet peoples’ needs, at minimal additional cost to the public purse.

Conference Exhibitors

Stand Exhibitor Contact





Alexander Sloan Logo

Alexander Sloan


SDM Logo

SDM Housing Software


Invu Logo






Chiene & Tait Logo

Chiene + Tait


Marsh Ltd


Wylie & Bisset Logo

Wylie & Bisset LLP


Housing Insight

Housing Insight


GB Social Housing Logo

GB Social Housing Plc





Quinn Internal Audit Logo

Quinn Internal Audit & Business Support Services



Zurich Municipal





CAF Bank

CAF Bank

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