THE former chief executive of Gateshead Council has told of his delight after taking up his new job as chairman of the Port of Tyne.
Sir Les Elton steps up from the port’s deputy chair to take on the top job from Sir Ian Wrigglesworth, who was chairman for seven years before stepping down in the summer.
Sir Les was knighted for services to local government and has been involved in key regional milestones including the development of the Metrocentre, the National Garden Festival, the Angel of the North, the Baltic gallery, the Gateshead Millennium Bridge and The Sage Gateshead music centre.
He said: “The Port of Tyne is in an excellent position to take advantage of new opportunities and continued success.
“We have made significant investments in the port’s infrastructure, improving and extending port facilities and the record results in both the volumes of cargo handled and the financial performance are as a result of that investment.
“The Port of Tyne has a strong management team and employees who are committed to ensuring the port thrives now and in the future.
“The port is not just a high- achieving business in its own right, but is a very important cog in the success of many other businesses by enabling them to get their products to market quickly and efficiently.”
His new deputy will be public relations expert Hilary Florek.
The port, which last year doubled its profits to £9m after a 66% rise in volume of cargo handled, continues to seek new opportunities.