Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

River Runs through All Our Hearts; Cultural Catalyst as Well as Commercial Asset - That's How Port of Tyne Boss Andrew Moffat Sees the Great River Which Is Central to So Many North East Lives

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

River Runs through All Our Hearts; Cultural Catalyst as Well as Commercial Asset - That's How Port of Tyne Boss Andrew Moffat Sees the Great River Which Is Central to So Many North East Lives

Article excerpt

Since people first settled along its banks or at its crossing points, the River Tyne has influenced and encouraged invention, inspired creativity and fired imaginations.

Today's 'guardian' of the river, the Port of Tyne, takes pride in ensuring that a culture of creativity is supported and thrives across the communities that make up Tyneside.

The port, which occupies a 620-acre site in North and South Tyneside, is one of the UK's major deep sea ports and a hub for the region's business and industry, handling PS10bn worth of goods every year.

Cranes, ships, trains, boats, trucks and giant warehouses are part of the Port's everyday business. But music, art, literature, film and theatre also play an important role.

"Our core business is to ensure the Port is sustainable for the future and to do that we invest our profits and more into vital infrastructure, but we still make room to support a thriving cultural scene in the North East," says Andrew Moffat, the Port of Tyne's chief executive officer.

"Art, theatre, music and creative writing are all part of a vibrant cultural scene - and we want to see our community thrive because that is where we will get our future business and our future employees from.

"Not only that, it makes the place more attractive to residents and, of course, visitors, many of whom come via our International Passenger Terminal on ferries or cruise ships.

"We take a lot of pride and satisfaction in supporting successful community events such as the Bridges Festival and Mouth of the Tyne, bringing people together and giving a boost to local businesses such as bars and restaurants.

"Our contribution in support of worldrecognised institutions such as Live Theatre, Tyne and Wear Archives & Museums, Baltic and the Customs House helps them continue to provide fantastic programmes enjoyed by thousands of people and community groups."

The Port has also developed its own burgeoning cultural programme.

The Reflect photography and film awards are now firmly established in the calendar and the unique Songs from the Shipyards collaboration with The Unthanks and Tyneside Cinema has been enjoyed by audiences on tour around the UK. …

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