The man behind the recent growth of the Port of Tyne has been awarded a prestigious fellowship.
The Port's chief executive officer, Andrew Moffat, has told of his pride at becoming only the 12th recipient of South Tyneside College’s coveted Dr Winterbottom Fellowship Award.
Mr Moffat has helped the Port continue to grow and succeed as a main UK deep sea terminal, and has been awarded the fellowship by a college whose roots lie in seafaring.
The Newcastle University economics graduate said the college and the Port of Tyne had enjoyed a lengthy shared history of playing important roles within the communities they serve.
The award is named after Dr Thomas Winterbottom, the founder of the original marine school - today called South Shields Marine School and is one of the world’s leading maritime training centres - on which South Tyneside College grew.
Given for services to the college, the marine industry or the borough of South Tyneside, the award is for those in academia, industry, science, commerce, the arts, community, public and voluntary service or business.
Mr Moffat said: “I am enormously proud to accept this award which honours Dr Winterbottom, who founded the now internationally-acclaimed South Shields Marine College - which was established at around the time as the Port of Tyne's predecessors.
"The Port of Tyne has a shared history and continues to work closely with South Tyneside College, and it is fitting that this award also recognises the significance of the port as part of the local community and wider maritime industry.”
Dr Lindsey Whiterod OBE, chief executive of South Tyneside College, added: “Andrew is a tireless champion of the North East and has done much to raise its economic fortunes through the strategic growth of the Port of Tyne.
“He is a prominent and respected figure, whose talents and endeavour are rightly recognised through an award for those who have done much for the marine industry and industry in general in South Tyneside and the wider region.
“This is the highest award bestowed by the college on any individual, and he is very deserving of it.”
Mr Moffat was appointed to the role in November 2008, and since then the Port has invested over £120million improving the capacity of its diverse businesses, which encompass conventional and bulk cargoes, car terminals, cruise and ferry, logistics and estates.
Starting his career as a trainee accountant with Northumbrian Water, he switched to the rapidly growing mobile telecommunications sector in 1989, where he worked for over 17 years within international companies in financial, commercial and strategic roles.
He joined the Port of Tyne as finance and commercial director from 3 UK, a telecoms subsidiary of Hong Kong based multi-national conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa, where he was chief finance officer.
Before that, Mr Moffat worked for sister company 3 Italia in Milan as chief finance officer, and has also held a number of senior roles within Orange, including UK director of strategy and group financial controller.
He was named a Commander of the British Empire in the New Year's Honours list 2016 for services to the North East economy and UK ports.
Mr Moffat is also a director of NewcastleGateshead Initiative, sits on the Regional Council of the CBI, and is a board member for the NELEP, an organisation focused on the delivery of economic regeneration.
Other fellows are Ray Spencer MBE, Geoff Ford MBE, John Lightfoot MBE, Captain Ian McNaught, Captain Nigel Palmer OBE, Captain Graham Westgarth, Jean Stokes, Captain Ian McNaught, Captain Roger Towner, Margaret Fay CBE, and Sir Nigel Sherlock.