Sunderland port flying the flag to celebrate 300 years of trading

Coun Mel Speding alongside Matthew Hunt, director of Port of Sunderland.
Coun Mel Speding alongside Matthew Hunt, director of Port of Sunderland.
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An historic port is celebrating 300 years of flying the flag for trading in Sunderland.

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.

Coun Mel Speding alongside Matthew Hunt, director of Port of Sunderland.

Coun Mel Speding alongside Matthew Hunt, director of Port of Sunderland.

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.

Coun Mel Speding, who is a member of the Port of Sunderland board, 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 are 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.”

It feels like a great time to reflect and look ahead

Matthew Hunt

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.

Matthew Hunt, Port Director, 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 undergone a programme of improvements recently, including the re-establishment of rail connectivity, 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.

Mr Hunt said: “This really is just the beginning for the Port. We have learnt from the past and we’re now firmly focused on creating a bright, bright future.”