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Port authority chief executive to retire

Lerwick Port Authority's chief executive Sandra Laurenson with her successor designate Calum Grains.
LPA chief executive Captain Calum Grains Photo: Ben Mullay/LPA

SANDRA Laurenson is set to step down as chief executive of Lerwick Port Authority when she retires in November.

Laurenson has racked up over 40 years of service at the organisation, joining the then Harbour Trust in 1975.

She held various roles before becoming deputy general manager in 1998, and in 2007 she took on the chief executive role – becoming what was believed to be the only female chief of a UK port.

Laurenson is a past chairman of the Scottish Ports Committee of the British Ports Association and is nominated by the port authority to a number of external directorships.

She will be succeeded by deputy chief executive captain Calum Grains, who first became a harbour pilot at Lerwick in 1997 before being promoted to harbourmaster in 2007.

“I am delighted that Calum is succeeding me as chief executive, with all the benefits of continuity to such an interesting job,” Laurenson said.

“He will very much enjoy, as I have, the support of a great team at the port, as well as that of all the customers who keep the ‘top port’ going,” she said.

Both Laurenson and Grains are executive board members at the port authority, which expects to make more management appointments soon.

Chairman Ronnie Gair added: “Sandra has made a remarkable contribution to the port’s operation and development, and so to the Shetland economy, over more than four decades.

“Her input in recent years includes leading the latest major expansion of facilities, which underpin future activities across key sectors, and overseeing development of the port’s role in offshore industry decommissioning and the cruise sector.

“Calum already has a proven track-record with the Authority and the experience to continue the port’s evolution in the marketplace and infrastructure, including the current construction of a replacement white fish market and projects in planning.”