Since June 2016 Alan has been Head of Music at Creative Scotland, the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland by distributing funding from the Scottish Government and The National Lottery. After studying English Language and Literature at the University of Edinburgh, Alan spent more than 25 years in arts journalism, specialising at first in film.
He has been Editor of The List, Associate Editor of Total Film, Reviews Editor of Empire and film critic of The Daily Record. He was also the Artistic Director of the Kirkcaldy Film Festival from its inception until 2016.
As Group Arts Editor across all titles in the Herald & Times Group, he spent the better part of a decade championing the Scottish arts scene in print, particularly music in the Sunday Herald and The National. He instigated the Sunday Herald's cross-genre Top 50 Scottish Albums of the Year list and spent many years on the jury selecting unsigned bands for the T Break stage at T in the Park.
Now, as Head of Music at Creative Scotland, he leads the team that provides funding, advice and support for musicians and music organisations in every genre.