Wallsend’s great industrial past and vibrant present and future have been captured in the bold logo design of the town’s new Chamber.
The chamber, composed of over 50 businesses and public bodies, aims to ride the tide of business development in the town, including over £100m planned for the former Swan Hunter shipyard site.
Launched at Segedunum World Heritage, the chamber intends to be a strong and unified voice to support economic growth in an area bolstered by significant recent job creation and investment.
Highlighting Wallsend’s strong industrial heritage and modern day ambitions, the chamber’s logo is of a powerful blue ocean liner on a white background.
It was designed by Tyne Metropolitan College graphic design student Joe Fletcher in a project involving other learners.
At the launch, North Tyneside MP Mary Glindon said: “The logo perfectly captures our glory days, but they are not all behind us. The chamber can fly the flag for business as they navigate new opportunities for common benefit.”
Norma Redfearn CBE, the Mayor of North Tyneside, who also attended, said: “Wallsend is a town with so much history and a lot to be proud of in its past, with even more coming in the future. The establishment of the chamber gives businesses and other members a valuable platform for growth and will give the town a clear and distinctive voice. The new chamber has so many different plans to work with schools, colleges, the local authority and the third sector and I look forward to seeing some of the fantastic work they’ll do in the future.”
Kevin Stephenson, founder of Experts in Business Limited and the Wallsend chamber’s first chair, said its creation came at an important time for North Tyneside.
Notable developments include a 30 per cent jump in established businesses – from 3,890 in 2012 to 5,060 in 2017 – and a 71 per cent increase in the self-employed since 2011. A further £7m has been ploughed into improving parks, and private sector backing has supported the success of the Forum Shopping Centre and Town Hall Business Centre. And an expected 400,000 visitors are expected this year to the Wallsend Customer First Centre, and there has also been a large fall in the unemployed.
Mr Stephenson said: “The chamber will provide a real opportunity to support businesses in Wallsend and to help them grow and reach their full potential. It will provide a strong voice for the business community to pursue its aims and ambitions while also being a platform of support and advice to members. It has come about at exactly the right moment and I am very pleased and excited to be leading it at this exciting time for the town.”
David Bavaird, chair of North Tyneside Business Forum, said he expected the new chamber to quickly become an important part of the region’s business community. He added: “A strong business voice is critical for economic prosperity and employment and Wallsend and North Tyneside already have much to celebrate.”
“Working with other chambers, it will give the Wallsend business community a clear and distinct voice. It will be able to speak up on important issues, and without the chamber, the Wallsend voice would not be so loud. The chamber has a great leadership team which will work with schools and the local authority to see Wallsend continue to grow and be an ever better place to live, work and visit.”
Joe, 31, was supported in his design by fellow students Shannon Keir, Jess Dodds, Olivia Redpath, and Kate Ferguson, all 19.
He said: “The whole design process was exciting, from researching what was quintessentially Wallsend to conceptualising an idea, to presenting the final design was a great experience.
“When rolling out the brand, I couldn’t have asked for better feedback. The people of Wallsend really connected with the design in a way I never imagined.”
The chamber’s website is under construction, but information can be found on Facebook at WallsendChamber