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The Authority is a Trust Port and was founded on 1st January 2006. Its purpose is to hold, manage, maintain and develop the Port of Peterhead, with all profits reinvested. Trust ports are independent statutory bodies created by legislation.

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

  • A Board of 11 members, including the Chief Executive.

  • Board members to be appointed directly by the Authority through an openly advertised recruitment and interview programme.

  • Candidates to be assessed using criteria designed to achieve and maintain a balanced membership in respect of skills, experience, local knowledge, specialities and demography. The key objective is maintaining 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 Board, a stakeholder representative and an independent member to interview short-listed candidates and make a recommendation for Board approval.

  • Board members required to sign declaration including a requirement to 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 receive remuneration for their service as set by the Remuneration Sub-Committee, as recommended in the Transport Scotland Guidance for Good Governance of Trust Ports.

Meetings & Committees

The Board normally meets eight times a year. Additional meetings can be convened to discuss particularly important or urgent matters.

Sub-committees consider specific issues and make recommendations to the Board.

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.


  • Mr G Thain (Convenor)
  • Mr J Buchan (Deputy Convenor)
  • Mr M Skitmore
  • Dr E Leith-Hedley

The Pilotage Sub-Committee considers matters relating to the management and operation of the port’s pilotage and vessel traffic services functions.


  • Mr G Thain (Convenor)
  • Mr S Paterson (Chief Financial Officer)
  • Capt E Rattray (Harbour Master)
  • Mr J Buchan(Deputy Convenor)

The attendance record at the meetings of the Board and sub-committees during 2023 was considered satisfactory for all members.

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.

Board Members

Gavin Thain (Convenor)

Gavin Thain

Gavin is married to Lynne and they have three children.

Following secondary education, Gavin pursued a career in the fishing industry which followed the family tradition. Gaining his Class II Fishing Certificate at 20 years old, and his Class I Fishing Certificate at 21 years old. Gavin then skippered three vessels over 18 years in the wheelhouse.

He then focused his business interests ashore, mainly in property development and in the inshore fishing industry before going back to sea in 2016 and still Skippers the Guiding Light H90 which operates from Peterhead Port.

Gavin has also been involved in several local fishery associations and committees in advisory roles, including the Peterhead & District Benevolent fund which he is proud to have been involved with since 2002.

His personal time is spent with his family. He was appointed Convenor on 1st January 2017, taking over from William Mackie.

James Buchan DL (Deputy Convenor)

James Buchan DL (Deputy Convenor)

James 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, he progressed to the role of Engineering Instructor, training new employees and apprentices.

On leaving GM in 1983, James 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 was commissioned as a Deputy Lieutenant of Aberdeenshire in September 2022 and enjoys assisting HM Lord Lieutenant of Aberdeenshire carry out duties on behalf of HM the King and the Royal Family.

James also enjoys spending time with family and his outdoor interests are cycling, skiing and salmon fishing. He was appointed to the Board of Peterhead Port Authority on 1st January 2017.

James Stephen

James Stephen

James is married with three daughters.

He was brought up in the village of Boddam on the south side of Peterhead. Following secondary education he went on to pursue a career on the family fishing vessel. He obtained his mates and then proceeded to gain his skipper’s qualification. When his father retired he and his brother and took over the running of the family vessel.

James enjoys outside activities and spending time with his family. He is a keen golfer and a member of Cruden Bay golf club.

He was appointed to the board of Peterhead Port Authority on 1st January 2020.

Gary Bruce

Gary Bruce

Gary is married to Jane they have two grown up daughters Eilidh and Emmy.

Gary started work as a fisherman after leaving Peterhead Academy, quickly gaining his mates and skippers certification. He left fishing to pursue a career in the marine sector focusing on the offshore oil and gas industry and achieved a Merchant Navy chief officers’ certificate of competency with master’s endorsement at South Tyneside Nautical College. After working at sea for over twenty years, Gary came ashore to become a qualified Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF) and IMCA-accredited vessel inspector. Being a member of the Marine Safety Forum Steering Group reflects his passion for the promotion of safe working practices in the maritime sector. In 2012, Gary co-founded AMS Global Group of which he is the Marine Director. He was appointed to the Peterhead Port Authority Board on 1st January 2021.

Gary’s free time is spent with his family and walking his black Labrador.

Michael Skitmore

Michael Skitmore

Mike 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 personal time is devoted to family, friends, golf and cooking.

Alan Gardiner

Alan Gardiner

Alan served as an independent councillor with Aberdeenshire Council up to 2017 and was appointed to the Board of Peterhead Port Authority on 1st 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 the age of 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 Wallace

John is married to Ailsa and has two grown up 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.

Prior 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.

Robert Milne

Robert Milne

Robert is married to Sylvia and they have two boys. He was born in St Andrews to a third generation fishing family and relocated to Peterhead as an infant, attending primary and secondary school in the town. He then successfully completed a course in electrical and electronic engineering at Banff and Buchan college before returning to work in the family fish merchants business, which he now heads up on behalf of the family. Robert was appointed to the Peterhead Port Authority Board on 1st January 2018. A keen skier and golfer, he is a member at Peterhead Golf Club.

Steve Murphy

Steve Murphy

Steve was appointed to the Board of Peterhead Port Authority on 1st January 2018.

Steve is a Director and Founder of Storegga, a UK-based global developer of low carbon solutions in the CCS and hydrogen sectors. net zero infrastructure development company. His current responsibilities include the Acorn CO2 transport and storage network development, centred around St Fergus and Peterhead.

Steve is married with two children and has lived in Aberdeenshire since 1989. He has degrees in Geophysics, Petroleum Engineering and Business Administration. His early career was in the oil and gas industry and included working onshore and offshore in the UK and overseas. He has been in the CCS sector since co-founding a CO2 storage development business in 2007.

He is a keen runner, hill walker and martial artist.

Dr Elaine Leith-Hedley

Dr Elaine Leith-Hedley

Elaine was appointed to the Board of Peterhead Port Authority on 1st January 2022.

Elaine is from the North-East of Scotland (born in Keith, now living in Buckie) and has recently completed a 35-year international career with Shell, in technical and commercial roles in countries including the UK, The Netherlands, Canada, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.

Elaine has her BSc degree from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and PhD from the University of Sheffield. She is an engineer by background and worked onshore and offshore in her early roles, and more recently in asset management, strategy development and in Board Director roles. Elaine is married to Tony and they enjoy spending time with their family, and golfing.

Graeme Reid (Chief Executive)

Graeme Reid

Graeme started his career serving an electrical engineering apprenticeship at a local papermill before moving into the Marine and Oil & Gas markets with ABB as a field engineer specialising in complex electrical power, automation and variable speed drive systems on vessels and fixed platforms. He joined Poseidon Maritime (UK) Ltd in 2003 as a consultant focusing on technical failure analysis of complex electromechanical systems primarily for DP vessels and pipelay system applications He became Operations & Commercial Manager in 2006. After the sale of the company to Noble Denton in 2007, he became Northern Operations Director of the combined business of PML and Noble Denton in Aberdeen then Regional Managing Director - Europe with additional responsibility of the Newcastle, London, Slough and Kazakhstan operations. In 2009, he became Upstream Managing Director - Europe for Germanischer Lloyd Noble Denton adding further operations to his responsibility.

In 2010 he founded Maritime Assurance & Consulting Ltd (MAC) based in the UK with an office in the US. In 2012 he founded MAC Resourcing Ltd, a technical recruitment business. In late 2016 Graeme sold both businesses to the Bureau Veritas Group. In 2018, Graeme joined IMCA as a Marine Technical Adviser. Graeme has served on the board of many organisations, mostly within the Maritime sector.

Graeme’s free time is spent with his family and he enjoys woodworking and walking his labrador “Obi”.

See Also

Important Information

Important Information

The following documents can be downloaded and include our Dues and Charges, the General Terms and Conditions for use of the port and Port Information as well as financial statements.
Port History

Port History

There has been a harbour at Peterhead for more than 400 years. During that time the success of the town has been closely linked to the level of maritime trade and activity.