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The man who led the transformation of Gateshead as the council's Chief Executive has taken on a new role at the helm of the Port of Tyne.


Sir Les Elton has been appointed as Chair at the Port, one of the UK's major deep sea ports.

Recognized for his visionary leadership, Sir Les received his knighthood for services to local government and some of his achievements include 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.

At the same time, he played a major part in modernising the Council through change management and transforming the council's approach to provision of services, which became highly customer-focused and have been cited as examples of national excellence.

Having been the Deputy Chair, Sir Les is steering the Port towards further growth. 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.

"It also has an important role to play in supporting the communities around the Port and the River Tyne, on whom we rely for future business, future employees and the support services that all go towards making a successful business.

"I'm very pleased to be taking on this role with the support of the new Deputy Chair, Hilary Florek I look forward to being able to work on new developments and opportunities, bringing more new business and creating more jobs to support the continued economic growth of the North East region," added Sir Les.

Joining Sir Les as Deputy Chair is Hilary Florek. With a career spanning 25 years in the public relations and marketing business, Hilary is optimistic about the Port's future.

"The Port of Tyne is one of region's most dynamic and forward thinking businesses - it has the potential to expand further, particularly in the renewable energy sector, and create far reaching opportunities for business in the North East", said Hilary.

The Port of Tyne has achieved two consecutive years of record performance and Chief Executive Andrew Moffat is seeking new opportunities going forward.

"There are challenges ahead, but we have made enormous progress generating year on year growth and we have our course set for more growth and expansion, particularly in renewable fuels, the offshore sector and our logistics business," he said.


For further information please contact:

Lisa Donohoe Assistant Marketing & Communications Manager
Tel: 0191 455 2671 Mobile: 07912 390777 Email:

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