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Appointments to Cowes Harbour Board

28 April 2015
Appointment announced of two new Commissioners to the Cowes Harbour Board, Christopher Preston and Jonathan Gillespie, and the re-appointment of David Riley as a Commissioner. 

Cowes Harbour Commission (CHC) has today (Tuesday, 28th April) announced the appointment of two new Commissioners, Chris Preston and Jonathan Gillespie, and the re-appointment of David Riley as a Commissioner, for terms of three years from 1st May 2015 to 30th April 2018. 

They have been appointed by the Commissioners following recommendations from the recruitment panel, chaired by Roger Mathias CHC Chairman, with stakeholder representative Richard Thornton, CEO of UKSA and independent member Steve Hopper, the Queen's Harbour Master of Portsmouth.

Roger Mathias said: “We are delighted to appoint these three experienced and capable individuals to the CHC Board. They bring the right mix of skills and qualities necessary to play an important part in helping to shape the future of the harbour and its services.”

Chris Preston commented: “I hope that I can use my experience in the marine industry and in business strategy to assist the Commission in developing all aspects of the harbour for its stakeholders. The town and the local marine industry face challenges, but also a unique position and opportunities; in particular it is important to build on the Cowes Breakwater project as the catalyst for new growth and further investment, benefiting all users of the harbour and Medina River.”

Jonathan Gillespie said: “As a frequent leisure user of Cowes Harbour I am naturally keen to maintain and enhance the harbour for these activities. In addition, we all benefit from a busy and diverse High Street in Cowes and from a robust business community and I believe that Cowes Harbour will increasingly provide the centre of gravity to draw in customers and service providers alike. As the harbour moves into an exciting new phase of growth and development, CHC will continue to take responsibility for the safe and efficient operation of the facilities and services it offers and I hope that my experience in operational risk management will help manage the workload in a cost effective and nonintrusive manner for the users of the harbour.”

David Riley said: “The Cowes Breakwater is a key improvement to Cowes Harbour and is stretching the finances of the Commission, despite considerable financial support from a Government agency. The proposed development of Victoria Quay in East Cowes is another exciting improvement to the harbour necessitating the Commission’s involvement in a dredged Eastern Channel and an extension to the Shrape Breakwater. One of the reasons I applied for a third term as a Commissioner was because I felt it essential to offer continuity to the Commission in the financial structuring relating to the Cowes Breakwater and the East Cowes project.”

Roger Mathias added: “I would also like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to outgoing Board members Claudia Suckling and Jeremy Dale for their hard work during their six years with the Commission. CHC has benefited greatly from their knowledge and contributions and I would thank them both for the professionalism and commitment they have shown over their time as Commissioners.”

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