Dover Harbour Board is an independent statutory corporation, created by the Crown to administer, maintain and improve the harbour of Dover. It owns and operates the port.
Originally established by Royal Charter in 1606, it was reconstituted and incorporated as Dover Harbour Board by Act of Parliament in 1861. Its various statutory powers were brought together in the Dover Harbour Consolidation Act 1954, and have been modified piecemeal since then.
Dover Harbour Board has no shareholders, and is governed by an autonomous Board comprising nine members, appointed in accordance with a Statutory Instrument – the Dover Harbour (Constitution) Revision Order 2016. This constitutional arrangement is common, although not universal, throughout the UK port sector. Ports constituted in this way are generally known as “trust ports”, although they are not actually trusts.
Like other Harbour Authorities it operates on a commercial basis, in line with guidance published by the Department for Transport. Its activities are funded entirely from dues on users of the port and from associated commercial charges. It receives no grant funding from the Government, other than through schemes that are available to all businesses.
As a statutory corporation (rather than a company incorporated under the Companies Acts) Dover Harbour Board is not registered at Companies House and does not have a company number. Its annual report and accounts are nonetheless prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Companies Act 2006, and are filed with the Department for Transport and published on this website. Dover Harbour Board has five wholly-owned subsidiary companies through which some of its port operations are delivered. Their identities are shown on the chart available below, and their corporate registers and annual accounts are published by Companies House
To download a copy of our Subsidiary Companies chart please use the link below.