Constitution & Board

Peterhead Port Authority is a Trust Port which is an independent statutory body created by its own legislation. The organisation was founded on 1 January 2006 for holding, managing, maintaining and developing the Port of Peterhead. All profits are reinvested into the port.

The Peterhead Port Authority Harbour (Constitution) Revision Order 2005 established the following constitution: 

  • The Board consists of 11 members, one of whom is the Chief Executive. 
  • Board members are appointed directly by the Authority through an openly advertised recruitment and interview programme. 
  • Candidates are assessed using criteria established to achieve and maintain a balance of Board membership in terms of skills, experience, local knowledge, specialties and demographic balance. However, the overriding principle is to maintain a Board that is fit for the purpose of running the port. 
  • A review panel consisting of at least the Convenor or Deputy Convenor of the Authority, a stakeholder representative and an independent member will interview short-listed candidates and make a recommendation for Board approval.
  • Board members are required to sign a declaration which includes a requirement to enter on a register any financial or other interest which could potentially give rise to a conflict of interest. The Register of Members' Interests is available for public inspection at the Authority's offices.



Board members are paid an annual salary during the year to 31st December 2016 of £8,448, with the Convenor receiving £12,148 and the Deputy Convenor £9,504. Board members are also entitled to receive private healthcare insurance paid by the Authority and travel expenses for attending meetings.



Meetings and Committees


The Board normally meets on eight occasions during the year.  There are arrangements to convene additional meetings to discuss particularly important or urgent matters, no such meetings were held during 2015. 

In addition to the full Board, a number of Sub-Committees have been formed to consider specific issues and make recommendations to the Board. Except for the Remuneration Sub-Committee, the membership of each committee is appointed annually.  Details of those which met during the year together with a list of members are as follows:-

Remuneration, Staffing and Audit Sub-Committee


The Remuneration, Staffing and Audit Sub-Committee meets annually to consider the remuneration of staff and Board members.  Other ad-hoc meetings are convened to discuss specific staffing related matters, including the recruitment of senior staff.  It met once during 2016.

Mr G Thain (Convenor)

Mr W M R Mackie (Deputy Convenor)

Mr G J Buchan (Board Member)


Peterhead Port Services Committee


This committee considers matters relating to the management and operation of the ports pilotage and vessel traffic services functions. It met twice during 2016 and its present membership comprises:-

Mr G Thain (Convenor)

Mr I Laidlaw (Chief Executive)

Capt J Forman (Harbour Master)

Mr S Paterson (Deputy Chief Executive & Chief Financial Officer)

Mr W M R Mackie (Deputy Convenor)


The attendance record at the meetings of the Board and Sub-Committees during 2015 was considered satisfactory for all members.  The individual attendance records at Board meetings for Members who served during the year are as follows:-


Mr W M R Mackie 91%   Mr B Davidson 89%
Mr R Buchan 100%   Mr I Armstrong 89%
Mr J G Buchan 67%   Capt R Middleton 89%
Mr D Armstrong 89%   Dr I Moir   100%
Mr J Maxwell  91%   Mr G Thain  100%
Mr J E Wallace 100%      



Training and Review

The Board has adopted formal procedures for the annual appraisal of the performance of all Members. Training is also provided, both to existing Members and as part of the induction process for new appointees. 



Gavin Thain (Convenor)

 Gavin is married with three children.


Following secondary education, Gavin pursued a career in the fishing industry which followed the family tradition. Gaining his Mates Ticket at 20 and his skippers ticket thereafter, Gavin skippered three vessels over 18 years in the wheelhouse.


Gavin then  focused his business interests ashore, mainly in property development and in the inshore fishing industry. Gavin is also involved in several Local Fishery Associations & Committees on an advisory role. His personal time is spent with his family. He was appointed Convenor on 1 January 2017, taking over from William Mackie.


William Mackie (Deputy Convenor)

 Mr Mackie is married to Judith and has two children who help run his business.   They have five grandchildren and his hobbies include golf. He is a member of the Feuars Managers.


Mr Mackie began his working career with Sutherlands of Peterhead, a large haulier operating throughout the UK.   During this time he undertook engineering training and gained qualifications including fuel injection, refrigeration and a City & Guilds award.   For 18 years, apart from a 'hands on' period as a commercial fisherman, he worked at Northern Engineering in Peterhead as a service engineer with increasing responsibility moving on to become Workshop Foreman Supervisor.   In 1993 he set up one of North-East Scotland's foremost engineering, carpentry and vehicle repair companies under the banner of Bill Mackie Engineering Group employing circa 40 persons.


Mr Mackie joined the Board of Peterhead Harbour Trustees (PHT) in 1999 becoming Vice-Chairman in 2001 and Chairman in 2003.   He was appointed the first Convenor of Peterhead Port Authority on 1st January 2006 and served in this position until 2016.   During this time he has been intricately involved in or overseen several major civil work developments including the largest UK public shiplift repair facility, the construction of Sir Albert Quay, the Merchants Quay and Fishmarket and the Smith Embankment.



John George Buchan

 John George Buchan is married and has three children.  Following his formal education at Peterhead he pursued a career in the fishing industry.  He is the 5th generation of Buchans to prosecute this livelihood and has acquired a wide range of skills and knowledge from that background and personal experience.  Gaining his ‘Mates’ ticket at 20 and ‘Skippers’ at 22, he took command of his first vessel as a 25 year old.  Apart from his ‘hands on’ responsibilities in the wheelhouse, Mr Buchan is involved in the full spectrum of fish cycle which includes catching, processing, marketing, distribution and vessel construction through his involvement as a Director of Lunar Fishing Company and Lunar Freezing.  He is currently a Director of the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association and was appointed to the Peterhead Port Authority Board on 1st January 2012.  His personal time is devoted to his family, travel and walking.




Douglas Armstrong

A UK Service Delivery Manager for a multi-national bearings and mechanical products company, Douglas recently graduated with a BSc degree from the Open University. Douglas first moved to Peterhead with his family in 1970; returning to the area again in 1993 after serving in the Royal Navy submarine service as a Chief Petty Officer Engineer.

Douglas previously ran a business in Peterhead for 15 years, also holding the position of Vice Chairman of Peterhead Business Forum. Douglas has considerable experience in marine mechanical and electrical engineering in addition to HSE, QA audit and personnel management. He has served as a trustee and board member of various local community groups. He was appointed to the Board of Peterhead Port Authority on 1 October 2007.


Ian Armstrong

 Born in Lanark in 1962 and brought up in Lanarkshire and Dumfries.


Graduated in 1984 with an Honours degree in Chemistry from the University of Aberdeen.


Ian worked for three years with detergent manufacturer Albright and Wilson in Cumbria before joining the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) in 1987. SCDI is Scotland's leading independent membership organisation and undertakes policy research, lobbying, trade promotion and industry/schools initiatives. It is also heavily involved in bringing organisations and people together through a comprehensive programme of seminars, lunches, dinners and conferences.


In 1998 he established a full time Scottish Council office in Aberdeen aimed at providing a more focused service to members in the North East and allowing SCDI to better reflect the business issues and concerns in the region. As Regional Director I have responsibility for all SCDI’s activities in the North East and Highlands & Islands regions of Scotland.


A Board Member at Peterhead Port Authority since 1 January 2012, Ian is also a member of Common Purpose Advisory Board (Aberdeen) and Aberdeen Airport Working Group.


Married with two children, aged 17 and 13, personal interests include music, football, and Aberdeen FC in particular, plus hill walking.


James Buchan

James Buchan is married with two grown up children.


 Educated  at Peterhead  Academy,   James  secured  a mechanical    engineering apprenticeship with  General  Motors and  qualified as a mechanical   engineering technician at Buchan Technical  College in 1976.  During his 10 year  employment with  GM, Mr Buchan  progressed   to the role  of  Engineering Instructor, training new employees and apprentices.


 On  leaving GM  in 1983, Mr   Buchan   set  up  his  own   business, J & J  Buchan, based   near  Peterhead  Harbour, providing  engineering, fabrication   and   ship repair services to the fishing, oil and gas and construction industries.


James’s   interests   include   reading,   current    affairs   and   politics. He enjoys spending  time with family and is also a keen cyclist and skier. He was appointed to the Board of Peterhead Port Authority on 1 January 2017.


Robert Buchan

 Robbie Buchan is married with two girls. He was born and raised in Peterhead and educated at Peterhead Academy. Upon leaving education in 1984, he started work with his father's ship repair business and has worked with the firm in and around the Port of Peterhead everusiness servicing the fishing, oil and gas and construction sectors. since. He is now managing director of RD Buchan & Sons Ltd, a fabrication and repair bHe enjoys golf and is a member of Peterhead Golf Club and also a keen follower of Peterhead Football Club. He was appointed to the Board of Peterhead Port Authority on 1 January 2013.


Michael Skitmore

 Mike Skitmore is married, has four children and has lived in Aberdeenshire since 1978. Following a degree in Civil Engineering he worked for BP for 31 years in Aberdeen, London, the USA and Azerbaijan, mainly in production operations and projects. In Azerbaijan, he led the Shah Deniz gas project and then became Vice President for BP’s Offshore operations, before leaving BP in 2009. He joined Premier Oil in London in 2009 and then moved back to Aberdeen, where he became UK Country Manager and Director in 2012. He retired from Premier Oil in December 2015. Mike was appointed to the Peterhead Port Authority Board on 1st January 2016. His pewrsonal time is devoted to family, friends, golf and cooking.


Councillor Alan Gardiner

 Alan Gardiner serves as an Independent Councillor with Aberdeenshire Council and was appointed to the Board of Peterhead Port Authority on 1 January 2016.

Alan is married and has three children and four grandchildren. He is a time served Mechanical engineer, who spent much of his early career in the design and development of fish handling systems in factories and on fishing boats in Peterhead Harbour.

He started his first business at age 26 and has continued to pioneer various successful businesses in different industry sectors. He regularly consults for, and supports small businesses, teaching and encouraging entrepreneurship.

His personal interests include football and local inshore small boat fishing. He is involved in various church/community projects and is regularly invited to public speaking engagements, which have taken him to different countries.


John Wallace

John is married to Ailsa and has two grown children, Jill and Scott. He was appointed Chief Executive of Peterhead Bay Authority on 1st April 2001 and became a Board member under the terms of the Peterhead Bay Authority Constitution Order 2002. He then became Chief Executive of Peterhead Port Authority on 1st January 2006. Previous to joining the Authority he was Chairman of Fraserburgh Harbour Commissioners for 16 years.  During his time at Fraserburgh, several major civil engineering projects were completed including: deepening of the harbour to make it non tidal; construction of the UK’s first fully chilled fish market; the UK’s first commercial shiplift and construction of the Queen Elizabeth II drydock, including full infrastructure development of the ports estate.  


He has founded and run several small successful companies in the past 30 years mostly related to the marine and fishing industries.  His undergraduate work was completed at the University of Pittsburgh, graduating Suma Cum Laude and he received an MSc from the University of Oregon in 1977.  From 1977 – 1981 he was Director of Athletics and Assistant Professor at Vassar College in NY State.   He completed an MBA in Business at the University of Aberdeen in 2003.  He is a former founding Trustee of the National Lighthouse Museum for Scotland and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.  He retired from PPA in July of 2016 to spend time with his grandchildren.  He is a keen jogger and enjoys outdoor pursuits.


Ian Laidlaw

Ian Laidlaw has been married to Alison for more than 30 years and has an adult son, Ewan, who is currently studying at Glasgow University.

Ian was appointed Chief Executive on 16th July 2016 and became a member of the Board under the terms of the Peterhead Port Authority Harbour (Constitution) Revision Order 2005.

Prior to joining the Authority, Ian founded, owned and ran a successful Project Management Company (>13years), managing a number of major civil engineering and building projects for a wide variety of clients, including the Smith Embankment Project for PPA (2010- 2012) and project managed the Harbour Deepening and Fish Market expansion projects from conception through design and procurement through to the appointment of the chosen contractors.

As a former Chartered Civil Engineer and Inspection Diver, Ian has been involved in major civil and maritime projects for more than 30 years.

Ian is a graduate of the University of Strathclyde 1979 – 1983, where he gained a 2:1 honours degree in Civil Engineering and gained chartered status in 1993. He enjoys golf, cycling, hillwalking and generally keeping himself fit. 


Also in this section:

5-day forecasts
BBC Weather
Met Office
Tidal Information
Hydrographic Office
Peterhead Fish Market
Details of fish to be sold at next auction
Fishing Vessels in harbour

Commercial Vessels In Harbour

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