As the city celebrates with the Clipper Race fleet and LegenDerry Maritime Festival, Londonderry Port and Harbour Commissioners are planning to celebrate their own landmark event this Saturday – their 160th Anniversary!
“We’re planning a family fun day for staff and their families, and an evening event so our customers and stakeholders can celebrate with us,” announced Port chief executive Brian McGrath. “These celebrations will take place during the LegenDerry Maritime Festival on the eve of the departure of the Clipper yachts.”
The Port’s new chairman Bonnie Anley says she’s delighted to have joined the Commissioners in their 160thyear. “In 1854, the Londonderry Port and Harbour Commissioners were set up to address the challenges facing a port city which wanted expand its trading connections.”
“Over the past 160 years, the port has played a vital role in the life of the city, from transatlantic trade and emigration, to WWII and the modern era. Today, we remain a major economic driver for the region and handle over £1 billion worth of commodities per annum, with over 1000 associated jobs. We’ve just completed a record year, with an increase of 27% in shipping in 2013. Furthermore, we act as a hub for developing industries such as the renewable energy sector.”
“We also play a key role in the development of marine leisure and cruise tourism, berthing cruise liners at Lisahally and Greencastle and running Foyle Port Marina to attract sailing and boating crews to the city. Providing the marine expertise to manage the arrival and departure of the Clipper Race fleet is a big part of this, and we’ve just finished a 40 metre extension to the Marina. It’s fantastic that the Foyle is attracting such high profile marine activity.”
The Londonderry Port and Harbour Commissioners are the Conservancy Authority for Lough Foyle between the Harbour limits from Craigavon Bridge to a line between Magilligan Point and Greencastle. The Commissioners were constituted by the Londonderry Harbour Act and Order in 1854. Foyle Port is responsible for the day-to-day management of marine and shipping operations on behalf of Londonderry Port and Harbour Commissioners.