Graeme MasonNEWCASTLE International Airport is working with the region’s largest business membership organisation to launch a 12-month celebration of everything that is great about North East business.

The airport has signed up to be a Patron of the North East Chamber of Commerce’s 200th Anniversary celebrations in 2015, which will build on the already excellent relationship the two organisations have established in recent years.

NECC will celebrate two centuries of North East business with its colleagues, members and the region as a whole by delivering an exciting programme of events and activities showcasing regional innovation, highlighting success, encouraging businesses involvement and celebrating all that’s great about business in our region.

Graeme Mason, Newcastle International Airport Planning and Corporate Affairs Director, said: “In our view, the North East Chamber of Commerce is the business organisation that provides the strongest voice for the North East.

“There is a comprehensive range of support available for NECC members and the airport has benefited greatly from our involvement with the Chamber in our almost 30 years in membership.”

As a 200th Anniversary Patron, Newcastle International Airport will be heavily involved in a year-long celebration, which begins on January 5, 2015, the exact date the Chamber was officially founded.

“At the airport, we very much believe that you only get out of something what you put into it, so signing up as Patron not only allows us to stand alongside the Chamber in showcasing the great progress made by regional businesses, but also highlights the important role Newcastle International Airport has played and continues to play in this growth,” added Graeme.

“We recognise the importance of a united regional voice, which is something that our Chief Executive David Laws has spoken passionately about since taking up his role as NECC President. We have seen major successes like the Government infrastructure announcements, which came on the back of a united North East presenting them with a list of urgently needed transport priorities. This is just one example of why we work so closely with the Chamber at party conferences, on the NECC Transport Forum and a host of other regional events.

“NECC200 presents us with an opportunity to not only celebrate regional business, but it is the airport’s 80th anniversary too. 2015 will also see the commencement of our United Airlines service to New York and the completion of our £14M departure lounge redevelopment project What better way to mark these than by working with the Chamber and continuing our efforts to deliver new services and press on with our  Masterplan to continue growing the airport and ensuring we remain a vital element to the region’s ongoing success.”

Among the events planned for NECC’s 200th Anniversary is an NECC film, Gala Dinner, archive exhibitions, world record attempt, link-ups with chambers from around the world and many more initiatives that will all be announced throughout 2015.

NECC President and Newcastle International Airport Chief Executive, David Laws, said: “My entire working life has been spent at Newcastle International Airport and throughout that time we have been totally committed to supporting North East business and playing a role in helping our region succeed. I am delighted as Chief Executive that we can once again align ourselves with the Chamber and proud as NECC President that the airport is a Patron in this landmark year.

“The Patrons are the driving force behind our year of celebration. Working alongside these groundbreaking businesses and organisations to promote everything that is good about our region is a fantastic opportunity and one that we are incredibly grateful for.

“For two centuries, North East businesses have found a collective voice by working alongside their chamber of commerce. The 200th Anniversary not only provides us with a platform to drive home the importance of speaking with a united regional voice, it is also an opportunity to use that voice to shout about the opportunities, attractions and businesses that make the North East a great place to live, visit and do business.”