Port Praised for Efforts to Support Local Businesses

The Port of Tyne has been praised for its efforts to localise its supply chain after onboarding a number of new, local suppliers last year.

Port of Tyne outlined plans in its Tyne 2050 strategy to boost local and regional growth across the North East by providing more opportunities to the region’s businesses.

This led to the port becoming one of the first organisations to sign up to the South Tyneside Pledge, a commitment to think locally on procurement, recruitment, school engagement, volunteering and more.

Since signing the pledge, the agreement has seen the port welcome a host of North East businesses into its supply chain, while providing an increased number of opportunities to its existing suppliers.

One such example is its collaboration with Jarrow-based Rescue Pod, a safety training company specialising in working at height, rescue and first aid.

Since the two organisations began working together last year, having met at South Tyneside Pledge events, Rescue Pod has provided training to a number of the port’s training instructors, empowering them to effectively deliver auto-descent training to their employees.

Gary Hannah, director at Rescue Pod, said: “It was a great privilege to be accepted by the port to deliver the training to their instructors and we have since built on this relationship by supplying working at height equipment and servicing auto descent equipment to the site.

“The South Tyneside Pledge has allowed us to be visible to large and small businesses in the borough and has assisted in our business growth. We look forward to seeing what doors the Pledge will open in the future.”

Another company to have benefited from the port’s commitment to localise its supply chain is The Health Insurance Group, which is based out of South Shields’ One Trinity Green.

The company has been procured by Port of Tyne to help it better provide for its staff by allowing it to provide its staff with employee benefits such as Private Healthcare, company cash plan and Death in service employee benefits.

South Shields-born Adam Brown is the company’s employee benefits specialist and believes the contract is ‘a great example of how collaboration between local businesses can help boost the region’s economy.’

He said: “It was through the pledge that we were able to get in to see Port of Tyne and tender for their employee benefits. Our tender was successfully accepted, and the port is now one of our biggest clients.

“We are excited to be working with the Port of Tyne and ecstatic that the pledge ethos or local business collaboration is working.”

Port of Tyne was introduced to both Rescue Pod and The Health Insurance Group courtesy of the South Tyneside Pledge.

Delivered by South Tyneside Council, the pledge aims to encourage South Tyneside organisations to focus on local activities and practical steps such as local procurement and recruitment, that can help the borough thrive.

Garry Thompson, head of people at Port of Tyne, said: “The Port of Tyne is intrinsically linked to the success of the North East economy, which is why we committed in our Tyne 2050 strategy to increase the number of opportunities we are able to provide local businesses.

“It was also the main motivator behind our decision to sign the South Tyneside Pledge, which aims to help businesses across the borough to procure the services of other local organisations and provide employment opportunities to local residents.

“Over the past 12 months, we’ve engaged with a number of local businesses courtesy of the pledge, procuring the services of fantastic businesses such as The Health Insurance Group and Rescue Pod and we are hoping to continue building on this success as we look forward to the year ahead.”

Cllr Margaret Meling, lead member for economic growth and transport at South Tyneside Council, has praised the Port’s efforts and its commitment to the pledge, dubbing the organisation ‘an exemplar of progressive business’.

She said: “The importance of the Port to the borough and the wider region can’t be underestimated. The organisation was one of the first to sign the Pledge, recognising the benefit of local collaborations, procurement and employment opportunities to create a more prosperous future. We thank them for their commitment to the borough and its workforce.”

For more information about the South Tyneside Pledge see https://investsouthtyneside.com/south-tyneside-pledge/