Board and management team


Head shot of Lucy Armstrong

Lucy Armstrong


Appointed in July 2017, Lucy is Chief Executive of The Alchemists, a North East-based consultancy which helps businesses increase their development and success. Lucy joined The Alchemists in 2003 after an early career in private equity, corporate development and headhunting with 3i plc, Courtaulds Textiles and Tyzack.

Executive Directors

Head shot of Matt Beeton

Matt Beeton

Chief Executive Officer

Having held director positions at Rolls Royce, Bombardier, Serco plc, Northern Rail and National Express Matt has over 20 years experience within the road, rail and aerospace industries. His early career began with a graduate programme at Rolls Royce Aerospace. Matt joined the Port in 2019 with extensive experience in transforming business strategy, driving efficiency through smart technology and inspiring leadership - including increasing customer satisfaction and safety performance.

Head shot of Mark Stoner

Mark Stoner

Chief Financial Officer

Previously Finance Director at Communisis plc, Mark started his career with British Steel, before holding senior positions at Rolls Royce Industrial Power Group, Siemens Microelectronics, KPMG, and Atmel North Tyneside. A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants with over 25-years’ practice in corporate finance Mark joined the Port in 2018 with the responsibility for Group financial services, information technology, internal audit and risk management.

Non-Executive Directors

Head shot of Mark Preece

Mark Preece

Deputy Chair

Mark has 30 years of experience in the maritime and subsea sector. Previously Chief Executive Officer for CEONA Offshore, his experience was gained both in the UK and international oil, gas and offshore renewable energy markets. A Master Mariner, in his early career he was a ship’s Master, a Marine Superintendent and a Project Manager.

Head shot of Nick West

Nick West

Board Member

Nick is the former CEO of Euroports and currently a non-executive director at the deep-sea Container Terminal at Port of Gdansk (DCT Gdansk S.A), Poland’s largest container terminal and Verbrugge International, a port operator based in the Netherlands.

Head shot of Geoff Brown

Geoff Brown

Board Member

Geoff is the former Chair and Global Managing Director of Halcrow Transportation. He is a chartered civil engineer with experience in senior executive roles in organisations both in the UK and internationally.

Head shot of Steve Crosland

Steve Crosland

Board Member

Steve has 20 years of experience specialising in leading human resource practices. A graduate of Newcastle University and a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, he has previously held positions with NetJets Europe and Northern Electric and brings experience of leading large UK, European and US based companies in organisational development.

Head shot of Alison Thain

Alison Thain

Board Member

Alison, former Chief Executive of Thirteen Group, is Vice Chair of the CBI North East Council, a Governor at Sunderland University and Vice Chair of Darlington Building Society. She was awarded the OBE in 2004 and an honorary doctorate in business from Teesside University in 2014.

Head shot of Mike Comerford

Mike Comerford

Board Member

With over 30 years of experience in shipping, maritime safety and engineering Mike has held senior roles within the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, Lloyd's Register and Bureau Veritas. Currently Mike is non-executive director of David MacBrayne Limited; one of the largest ferry operating groups in Scotland. He is a Chartered Engineer, a Member of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects and an Associate Fellow of the Nautical Institute.

Head shot of Julia Prescot

Julia Prescot

Non-Executive Director

Julia has over 30 years of experience in financing global infrastructure investments in the energy and transport sectors. Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Meridiam SAS, she is also a Commissioner at the National Infrastructure Commission. She is a Director of the Fulcrum Infrastructure Group and Chair of Neuconnect Limited, a Non-Executive Director of the International Project Finance Association as well as sitting on the advisory panel of Glennmont Renewable Energy Fund. Julia is an Honorary Professor at the Bartlett School, University College London and Co-founder of the group, Women Leaders in Infrastructure.

Management Team

Head shot of Nolan Gray

Nolan Gray

Business Development Director

Previously Finance Director at oil, gas and offshore renewables specialist DeepOcean UK, Nolan has held senior financial and commercial roles at Reg Vardy and HMV. At DeepOcean UK he helped shape the business through significant investment and restructuring to develop innovative services and technologies for the subsea oil, gas and offshore renewables markets. He joined the Port of Tyne as Business Development Director in 2015 and is responsible for business development based on a strong ethos of developing relationships with customers to support them in achieving their growth objectives.

Head shot of Louise Tinkler

Louise Tinkler

Director of Human Resources

Louise joined in 2011, having held a number of roles in the private and public sectors. She leads the Port’s Investors in People programme, which achieved Gold status in 2013. Since becoming Director of Human Resources in 2017 she has developed strategies including the successful apprentice and health & wellbeing programmes and contributed to a positive change in culture within the organisation.

Head shot of Steven Clapperton

Steven Clapperton

Director of Health and Safety, Environment and Marine

A Master Mariner with 20 years’ experience in the maritime industry, Steven joined the Port in 2017 from the oil and gas consultancy sector where, amongst other high profile projects, he was responsible for managing upstream marine operations for a major UK oil company. With a Master Mariners’ Certificate, qualifications in Nautical Science and a Diploma in Port Management, Steven brings a wealth of knowledge to the Port.