New Marine Director, Ashley Nicholson MBE (see photograph), showcased the Port of Tyne’s vision for a decarbonised fleet of port vessels, while responding to the switch to sustainable fuels by the deep-sea global shipping sector at the second day of the annual Society of Maritime Industries (SMI) Annual Conference at the Sage, Gateshead, 8-9 March.
At the start of the year, Ashley joined the Port of Tyne as Marine Director, following over a decade at Forth Ports working across their Scottish ports on the Firth and Tay. During her time there, she rose from Vessel Traffic Services Officer to Senior Harbour Master. She is in charge of the port’s marine operations, including pilotage and conservancy, and leads on the decarbonisation of the port’s vessels and responding to global trends as deep-sea shipping switches to sustainable fuels. This work is integral to the Port of Tyne’s sustainability vision to be net zero by 2030 and all-electric by 2040.
Ashley is an industry advocate for encouraging more women into the maritime workforce. This work was recognised in the Queen’s 2021 New Year’s Honours. She is the first female President of the UK Harbour Masters’ Association. Ashley was one of the first British harbour masters to be achieve the Harbour Master Certificate from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).
“The port is on a transformational journey to be a centre of excellence as the UK decarbonises, electrifies, digitises and automates its future”, commented Ashley Nicholson MBE, Marine Director, following her address to a collection of ministers, Government officials and 190 industry representatives at the two day SMI conference.
“The Port of Tyne is a leader in innovative business change and I’m looking forward to applying my industry expertise to challenge the industry, both regionally and nationally, to forge a rapid path to a more sustainable future.”
Ashley’s appointment is the latest addition to the Port of Tyne’s leadership team, following the recent appointments of Charlotte Brown as Chief Commercial Officer and the promotion of former Head of Operations, Graeme Hardie, to Operations Director. Alan Feast will continue in his role as Harbour Master.
Matt Beeton, CEO at Port of Tyne, commented on Ashley’s appointment: “We are delighted to welcome Ashley aboard and look forward to working with her. Her passion and strong experience align perfectly with our values and the Tyne 2050 objectives. She will be a great asset to the team and, indeed, the region, as we drive forward with our net zero plans and growth aspirations for the North East.”