News

Port flag 300 years

Flying the flag for 300 years

AN HISTORIC Port is celebrating 300 successful years of trading, erecting a specially-made flag to mark the occasion.

Port of Sunderland has proudly displayed a commemorative anniversary flag, which will greet visitors, as part of a summer of celebration of the port’s rich history. The city has officially marked 300 years of Port of Sunderland and the River Wear Commission last month, with an event attended by the great and good associated with the port, held at the River Wear Commissioners' Building in St Thomas Street, which is operated by Siglion.

The new flag, which now takes pride of place at the entrance to the port on Barrack Street, will remind visitors of the city’s proud industrial past. 

Councillor Mel Speding, who is a member of the Port of Sunderland board, and was on hand to help raise the flag, said: "We're delighted to mark 300 years since the formation of the River Wear Commission and subsequently the modern-day Port Authority. 

"Port of Sunderland continues to be a tremendous asset for the city, all these years on, and we are putting the building blocks in place to ensure its future is very bright indeed. 

"Of course, the Port has an incredibly proud history, once being the shipbuilding capital of the world, and people in Sunderland are rightly proud of that. This flag is a symbol of that pride and an opportunity to celebrate that with those who come into Port of Sunderland during our celebratory year."

Sunderland City Council, which owns Port of Sunderland, has also arranged for a special projection of the port’s 300 anniversary badge to shine on Keel Square. The Port came under municipal ownership in the Seventies, and after significant investment over the last seven years, is starting to reimagine a successful future. 

Matthew Hunt, Port Director, who joined the team to lead the programme of reinvestment, said: "The Port has achieved some truly remarkable things over the course of the last 300 years, and this year, as we look forward to welcoming the world with the Tall Ships Races in 2018, and with ever-increasing investment that is unlocking our vast potential, it feels like a great time to reflect and look ahead. 

"Port of Sunderland has enjoyed some proud times and I am pleased to say that we are starting to see not just green shoots of revival, but a truly meaningful number of major infrastructure developments that are turning this into a commercially successful, reinvigorated port."

The Port has undertaken a programme of infrastructure improvements recently, including the re-establishment of rail connectivity, establishing it as an intermodal hub, capable of handling goods by road, rail and sea all within minutes of the city centre. 

It has seen a consistent growth in commercial activity over the last few years and expects to see the final volume of cargo passing through its quays take a significant uplift this year too.

"This really is just the beginning for the Port," added Mr Hunt.

"We have learnt from the past and we're now firmly focused on creating a bright, bright future."

To find out more about Port of Sunderland, email portcommercial@sunderland.gov.uk.  Port of Sunderland is owned and managed by Sunderland City Council.