Mark Chanter, a senior consultant in Stephens Scown’s family team discusses his role as one of the Falmouth Harbour Commissioners.

Falmouth Harbour is known around the world as the start or finish point of world record breaking voyages, and its natural deep waters – which are the deepest in Western Europe – attract leisure and commercial mariners from around the world, making it one of the busiest harbours in the South West.

The job of running the harbour is a demanding one and falls to the Falmouth Harbour Commissioners. Falmouth Harbour is a Trust Port and is run under statute, with a team of six Harbour Commissioners overseeing the operations of the harbour.

Mark Chanter became a Falmouth Harbour Commissioner in January 2017. His interest in sailing attracted him to the role.

“I have loved sailing all of my life and when I was younger I raced yachts around Europe, so I came into the role with a good understanding of the leisure aspect of the harbour. It has been a steep learning curve to understand the commercial operations, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the challenge. As a lawyer I’m used to picking up new information and having to understand it quickly, so that has definitely helped in the last year!”

Mark explains the role of the Falmouth Harbour Commissioners, as falling into three main areas: “First is the leisure side of the business. From paddle boarders up to large yachts, we need to make sure we have the facilities that leisure users need. We are also responsible for the safety of the harbour and finally the pilotage of any ship coming in or out of the harbour.”

With the harbour so crucial for the town, there are many stakeholders who have an interest in its operation. “Our aim is to ensure that Falmouth has a vibrant port, encouraging tourism and developing the commercial side of the business. The knock-on benefits to other businesses are huge,” explains Mark.

One area that the Falmouth Harbour Commissioners would like to develop is to encourage more cruise ships. Mark adds: “We have excellent facilities for medium sized cruise ships, with enough space for them to moor alongside, enabling passengers to get on and off easily. With so many fantastic visitor attractions a short coach trip from the harbour, we have a lot to offer the cruise ship market. Up to 1,000 passengers a time means that this is a valuable income stream for other local tourism businesses too, and is an area of our business we want to expand.”

It has been a busy first year for Mark, but he concludes: “As someone who is passionate about sailing it has been a pleasure to get more involved in the running of one of our most iconic harbours. I’m excited for the next few years and look forward to helping the harbour continue to contribute to Falmouth and beyond.”


Mark Chanter, is a senior consultant in Stephens Scown’s family team. He can be contacted on 01872 265100 or email