Becoming Chair of the Port of Milford Haven on the threshold of its 60th anniversary is a very proud moment for me. Having been born and bred in Pembrokeshire it is an enormous privilege to play a key role in such a wonderful organisation. It has a rich history and as I look back and see the challenges overcome by my predecessors, I feel an incredible sense of duty. To steer the Board and the Port in what are becoming increasingly uncertain times is a huge responsibility and I look forward to tackling the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead with great energy and professionalism. My goal will be to ensure the Port is here for future generations and, along with my Board colleagues, will strive to protect and pass it on in an even better position than it is today.
Headline figures do, at first glance, indicate a disappointing trading performance. The fall in profit to £2.6m before tax largely reflects the ongoing issues with our core marine business, most specifically the reduction in Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) traffic and we will act on this to manage the associated risks to our business. However, the fall in profit masks the positive performance of the other areas of the Port’s business and is a confirmation of the changes the Port has been making to deliver its diversification strategy.
Our flagship projects, Milford Waterfront and Pembroke Dock Marine, demonstrate this continued commitment to pursue sustainable revenue streams. Together these projects widen our commercial portfolio and make the most of our waterfront asset base. Our aim is to further reduce our over-reliance on one industry, and to create the right environment for attracting businesses to trade and flourish in Pembrokeshire.
Our Vision and Values
Diversification and sustainability are at the heart of our vision to ‘Build the Haven’s Prosperity’. We will use our assets to create new economic opportunities, and to drive change. We want to create the brightest possible future for the Port and for our stakeholders. We want our port environment and the businesses that operate here to thrive and be best positioned to provide rewarding career opportunities for our communities. The Board will remain focused on taking the right decisions to make this vision a reality while ensuring we promote and deliver our strong core values.
Safety will always be our prime concern. The Port is a busy multiuse environment and we must keep it and those who live, work and play here safe. We all want a safe port that delivers high quality services and offerings. We will always invest in delivering this goal on and off the water.
Our focus on collaboration is continuing to grow. We seek out increasing opportunities to work together with all stakeholders to create jobs and encourage the growth of new businesses supported by inward investment from the national and international business community.
We honour the need for excellence in all that we do. This is not simply a standard service measurement but a commitment to continuous improvement and a culture that respects and values our customers. The Port will go further to seek out ways to innovate and nurture new market opportunities.
In moving forward, I would like to thank all employees and Directors that have gone before me. I would also thank those who continue to play a key role in the Port’s performance and I look forward to working with you all over the coming years. The success of any organisation is down to the quality of its workforce and we have a great team here at the Port.
I single out Peter Jones, who remained Chair until August 2017. Working alongside Peter has stood me in good stead for my tenure and I thank him for his leadership, knowledge and support. David Snelson, Sue Davenport and Steven Owen all retired from their board positions towards the end of 2017/beginning of 2018 and each have played important roles in the Port’s development. Finally, we welcome Tim Bownes as an Executive Director and Ian Shipperley, Steve Phillips and Debra Williams as Non-Executive Directors.
Sometimes it’s worth stepping back and reminding ourselves of the big picture. And there is no better time than as we approach a milestone anniversary. The Milford Haven Waterway is an incredible place. A deep-water harbour capable of accommodating super tankers yet with pretty beaches and attractive marinas. It is home to thousands, many of whom actively rely on the Waterway industries for their livelihoods.
Yet it faces many challenges, the volatility of LNG markets and the delivery of our flagship projects are just two, however as a Port we will continue to create the brightest possible future for the region and share in the Haven’s prosperity.