The Port of Falmouth says a sad farewell next week to A&P Falmouth port operations director Mike Reynolds, who is moving on after spending 17 years actively promoting the port and town to the shipping industry worldwide.

As port operations director, Mike was responsible for the operations of the A&P Group Ltd in Falmouth. A&P’s port operation is a diverse marine business with operations in stevedoring, cruise shipping, towage and marine services. He was also responsible for the statutory company, Falmouth Docks & Engineering Co, which is the harbour authority for the waters in the vicinity of A&P’s operations; it is also the landlord for a range of marine businesses that operate in the port.

Mike, in 2000, first raised the matter of dredging the port and building a dedicated berth to accommodate larger cruise ships and commercial shipping. Since then he has worked tirelessly to promote Falmouth to the world’s top cruise companies.

Along with Roger Hawke of Newell’s Travel, Mike was instrumental in setting up the hugely popular Van Gogh cruises from the port which gave thousands of people in Cornwall the opportunity of “cruising from their front doors.”

This week he said: “ I would liked to have seen the port dredged during my time here. But I wish Falmouth well and trust that the dredging will eventually happen to secure the port’s long term future. I am going self-employed now concentrating on giving management advice to various companies including those in the marine renewables sector.”

His regular visits to the annual Seatrade cruise conference in Miami brought Mike into contact with the world’s leading cruise company executives.

For the past seven years he has been a member of Destination Southwest, the regional cruise tourism marketing board of which he is the current chairman.

He is the representative for the UK and Ireland ports on the council that oversees the cruise marketing organisation for north European ports, in Cruise Europe.

Locally, Mike is a director of the Cornwall Marine Network and a board member of the South West Marine Energy Park, Without Mike’s genuine enthusiasm and support for the Tall Ships Races, the 1998, 2008 and 2014 events would have proved extremely difficult to secure as he finely balanced A&P’s commercial shipping activities with events that promoted Cornwall.

John Syvret, chief executive officer of Atlantic and Peninsula Marine Services Ltd, the parent company of A&P said: “The company has reluctantly accepted Mike Reynolds resignation. Mike has been employed within A&P since 1996 and has been a dedicated employee in his role as port operations director in Falmouth. He has now decided to set up his won consultancy practice. We thank Mike very much for all his hard work and dedication to A&P and wish him well in the future.”

Drystan Jones has been appointed interim manager of port operations to replace Mike. He joined the group in 2007 as business development manager and more recently has been heading up Marine Designs Ltd.