Open main menu

Dame Ann Heron Gloag DBE (née Souter, born 10 December 1942) is a Scottish billionaire businesswoman, activist, and charity campaigner. She is co-founder of the international transport company Stagecoach Group.

Ann Gloag
Ann Heron Souter

(1942-12-10) 10 December 1942 (age 76)
Perth, Scotland
ResidenceKinfauns Castle, Perth and Kinross, Scotland
EducationPerth High School
Known forCo-founder, Stagecoach Group
Net worthGBP £1.04 billion (April 2015)[1]
Spouse(s)Robin Gloag (divorced)
David McCleary (1990-present)
ChildrenJonathan Gloag
WebsiteThe Gloag Foundation


Educated at Caledonian Road Primary School and Perth High School, she qualified as a nurse , and during a 20-year career worked as a burn unit sister. She is ranked as Scotland's richest woman.[2] She has returned to her nursing roots in her philanthropic work with the charity Mercy Ships where she is a trustee[3] Ann has served on the Mercy Ships UK and International boards for over a decade and was instrumental in the launch of the Africa Mercy – Mercy Ships floating hospital.[4]


Using her father (a bus driver)'s redundancy money, and working with her brother, Sir Brian Souter, and her first husband, Robin Gloag, she established the Stagecoach Group in 1980, running buses from Dundee to London. Expansion continued and in the early 1990s, Stagecoach acquired National Bus Company operations in Cumberland, Hampshire, East Midlands, Ribble, Southdown and the United Counties. Stagecoach bought further bus operations in Scotland, Newcastle and London, with Manchester being added in 1993.[citation needed]

Manston AirportEdit

In November 2013, Gloag took ownership of Kent International Airport, also known as Manston Airport, for the sum of £1.[5] Gloag's co-director is Pauline Bradley,[6] a corporate lawyer and former head of joint ventures at Bank of Scotland, described by The Herald as "one of Scotland's most powerful women".[7]

Despite assurances to staff on the long-term investment in the airport,[8] management announced a consultation on closure in April 2014. Uncertainty about the airport's future led flight operators that were using Manston to leave, notably KLM, which was running a twice-daily service to Amsterdam Schiphol. A number of bids were forthcoming during the consultation period to buy and run the airport,[9] but, on 15 May 2014, Manston was closed with the loss of 144 jobs in the airport and an unknown number in the surrounding area. Gloag did not appear publicly or give a reason for the airport's closure or her refusal to sell.

The trade union Unite said it would challenge the way the consultation on closure was conducted.[10] Sir Roger Gale, Member of Parliament for Thanet North, described Gloag's actions as an act of "corporate vandalism".[9]

As of 2016, Gale and pressure groups including Save Manston Airport and Why Not Manston? continue to campaign for the reopening of the airport and have opposed alternative uses. In May 2014, Prime Minister David Cameron, in answer to a question from Gale in the Houses of Commons, stated that the future of Manston was the responsibility of the airport owner, but the Government was in negotiation with Gloag.[11] In July 2017 planning inspectors rejected an appeal stating that the site was protected for aviation use under EC4 regulations.[12]

Personal lifeEdit

Gloag has owned Beaufort Castle near Inverness since 1995, and Kinfauns Castle, near Perth since 2004. She has attempted to block off private access at Kinfauns in a high-profile case.[13][14] On 12 June 2007 she was successful in gaining a court ruling that she was legally entitled to bar the public from a swath of woodland in the grounds of Kinfauns Castle.[15]

Her ex-husband, Robin Gloag, father of her late son, Jonathan, was killed in a car crash on 6 December 2007.[16] Their son, Jonathan, killed himself in 1999, aged 28.[17] In 1990, Ann Gloag married David McCleary, a widower and a successful owner of multiple businesses, who was previously an organist and minister at the local Church of the Nazarene.[18]

A member of the Church of the Nazarene,[19] she founded the Freedom From Fistula Foundation. After meeting Adam Friedman, she became executive producer of Shout Gladi Gladi, a documentary film explaining the medical and social issues surrounding obstetric fistula in Africa. She also supports international aid charities and has adopted a Kenyan boy, Peter, now aged 30 as well as a 6 year old Kenyan grandson.[18]

Ann Gloag was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2019 New Year Honours list. Ann, who was previously awarded an OBE in 2004, has received her damehood in recognition of her extensive business and charitable work in the UK and overseas.[20] The Gloag Foundation [21] was set up by Ann Gloag to support projects that prevent or relieve poverty and encourage the advancement of education, health and religion in the UK and overseas.  


  1. ^ "Sunday Times Rich List". The Sunday Times (page 33). 26 April 2014.
  2. ^ "Overview of Ann Heron Gloag". Retrieved 20 May 2014.
  3. ^ "Mercy Ships Trustee honoured by Queen". Mercy Ships. 29 December 2018. Retrieved 25 May 2019.
  4. ^ "Mercy Ships Trustee honoured by Queen". Mercy Ships. 29 December 2018. Retrieved 25 May 2019.
  5. ^ "Manston Airport sold to Stagecoach founder for £1". 15 October 2013. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
  6. ^ Pauline Bradley. "Pauline Bradley: Executive Profile". Retrieved 20 May 2014.
  7. ^ "Head of joint ventures at BoS quits to join Kenmore". Herald Scotland. 19 January 2005. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
  8. ^ [1] Archived 21 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ a b Price, Chris (15 May 2014). "Manston airport: Dramatic last-minute offer to buy Thanet site by US group RiverOak rejected as staff leave for last time". Retrieved 20 May 2014.
  10. ^ "Manston Airport closure 'bizarre', says union". Telegraph. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
  11. ^ "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 14 May 2014 (pt 0001)". Retrieved 20 May 2014.
  12. ^ Pyman, Tom. "War of words continues as planning chiefs refuse change of use of buildings at Manston airport". Archived from the original on 12 November 2017. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  13. ^ "The Scotsman". 2 June 2006. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
  14. ^ "Tycoon launches court access bid". BBC News. 2 June 2006. Retrieved 25 April 2010.
  15. ^ Carrell, Severin (14 June 2007). "Multimillionaire uses financial muscle to bar ramblers from woods". The Guardian. London, UK. Retrieved 14 June 2007.
  16. ^ "Gloag's ex-husband dies in crash". BBC News. 6 December 2007. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
  17. ^ "Saturday Profile: Brian Souter". The Scotsman. 2 February 2002. Retrieved 8 November 2013.
  18. ^ a b "Jonathan Gloag had it all. It wasn't enough". The Independent. 21 September 1999.
  19. ^ "Tayside Police launch abuse handling investigation". The Scotsman. 21 November 2010. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
  20. ^ "Honour for Stagecoach co-founder Ann Gloag - Stagecoach Group". Retrieved 25 May 2019.
  21. ^ "The Gloag Foundation". Retrieved 25 May 2019.

External linksEdit

  • Profile,; accessed 10 December 2015