Changes on board with port moves

CHANGES are afloat in the county’s biggest port as a new chairman takes over and new members are appointed to the board.

Former deputy chairman of Port of Blyth, Brian Ripley, has replaced Tom Dingwall at the helm, while Richard Maudsley steps up to become his deputy.

Board member and former chairman Steve Gillie also completed his term of office at the end of last year, following a long period of service.

Mr Ripley and Mr Maudsley both have significant experience, both at the port and in wider industry, and it is hoped they will continue to develop on the success that has been seen in recent years.

Stephen Mills, who has a marine legal background, and Alan Lowdon, who has a background in the renewable energy sector, have also joined the board.

It is anticipated the pair will be bringing in complimentary skills and experience to maintain the port’s progress.

The Port of Blyth has seen significant recent growth despite the recession and is now in the top ten trust port’s in the UK in terms of turnover.

In 2011 the group turned over £16.8m, with a pre-tax profit of more than £0.6m.

Despite the closure of its biggest customer, the Rio Tinto Alcan smelter at Lynemouth, this progress has not been interrupted, something the port puts down to the renewables and oil and gas sectors.