Louise Hunter _portraitNORTHUMBRIAN Water will be at the forefront of a year-long celebration of regional business, signing up as Patron for the 200th anniversary of the North East Chamber of Commerce.

The water firm, which is in the top 10 largest companies in the region, will be a key supporter of NECC’s landmark year celebrations throughout 2015, further cementing a relationship that has seen Northumbrian Water and the business membership organisation work closely on a number of high-profile projects and political engagement activity.

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

Louise Hunter, Northumbrian Water Director of Corporate Affairs, said: “Northumbrian Water very much believes that as a region and as businesses, we are stronger together. Having worked so closely and successfully in partnership with NECC, we know that a collective approach best represents regional interests.

“We trust NECC and we rely very much on the policy and Government activity updates that are provided as part of our membership.

“These are just some of the reasons why we did not hesitate when offered the opportunity to become a Patron for what will be a fantastic year to celebrate the North East’s fantastic businesses and organisations.”

As an NECC200 Patron, Northumbrian Water will be heavily involved with the year-long celebration, which will begin on January 5, 2015, the exact date the Chamber was officially founded.

“I’m delighted that NECC is using its anniversary to not only look back and remember the many great innovations and industries that have roots in the North East, but also look forward towards the industries that will be driving forward our economy for years to come,” added Louise.

“We are a long-term business and, as such, very interested in the future. This year we set out our goals and aspirations for the next 25 years and finalised our business plan for the first steps on this journey which will take us to 2020.  It’s really hard to plan that far ahead and we’ve had some great input from our external partners, including NECC, through our Water Forums.

“The NECC anniversary is an opportunity to celebrate what we have achieved in the last 200 years and imagine what we can do in the next 200.

“And we have much to celebrate in the North East. From education to industry, our environment to our innovation, we are at the forefront of so many areas, all this before mentioning how beautiful the region is. We must all make 2015 a year to remember.”

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, David Laws, said: “Northumbrian Water is one of our region’s industrial giants and pioneer for innovation and working with communities. I am delighted that the organisation has agreed to back our milestone celebrations.

“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.”