Building an iconic image

Daniel O’Mahoney, managing director, Bradley O’Mahoney Public Relations

They say a picture paints a thousand words.

However, in South Tyneside it could be said that one word paints a thousand pictures.

Iconic buildings and structures such as The Word – the spectacular cultural venue in South Shields which will play such an important role in the regeneration of the town – send strong, confident messages. They tell those who live locally that they have a positive future and to those looking in from the outside that it is great place with a proud identity. It has its own DNA.

Right across our region and especially in the coastal areas there is transformation in the air. From the eye-popping New Wear Bridge, the redevelopment of Whitley Bay, the ambitious plans being put in place by Arch the development company for Northumberland and the major regeneration projects being actioned by South Tyneside Council, there is strong leadership and vision being demonstrated.

As a business located in South Tyneside we are especially aware of the developments taking place in the borough and the determination to move forward. The outside world – and those prized potential investors that we hope to attract – will be aware of the developments taking place and they will be impressed. This is where those powerful images of physical structures such as the New Wear Bridge and the Word in South Shields are so important.

Just like the Angel of the North – to which at first there was some resistance and is now regarded as a regional treasure – they help engender strong local and regional pride but research has proven that investment in game-changing infrastructure does attract inward investors and with it employment opportunities for local people. They say that perception is reality and in a world where potential investors can pick and choose where to locate, those areas that are not only just welcoming and have sound infrastructure but can also demonstrate the ‘wow’ factor stand the best chance of taking the prize.

A Bradley O’Mahoney client based in South Tyneside specialising in the engineering sector, believes the borough can look forward to a period of sustained growth and strong job opportunities as a result of the investment currently being made.

Chris Sultman, managing director of CDS Recruitment, formed in 2009, believes both the new International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP) and the significant redevelopment taking place in South Shields town centre and the nearby riverside area, offer some potential to draw in high tech companies which offer high quality, well paid jobs.

“We detect great optimism. The IAMP, in particular, has the potential to deliver a tremendous
number of high quality jobs and at CDS we want to ensure that as many as possible are taken up by local people. We have a fantastic engineering heritage – for example, the marine department at South Tyneside College is renowned throughout the world – and what we now need is for the many top quality training providers in the area to put in place programmes and courses that give local people every opportunity to upskill.

“The truly exciting prospect is that the IAMP attracts companies from elsewhere in the UK and from overseas and that our indigenous manufacturing companies create strong links with them and that they both feed off each other. The job opportunities that could result from that dynamic would be fantastic for South Tyneside.”

In anticipation of the potential growth in the manufacturing sector, CDS has recently partnered with specialist human resources recruitment firm Lynn Bennett Resourcing Ltd, based in Newcastle to provide an extra specialist solution to companies wishing to strengthen and focus on their middle management.

Chris Sultman, said: “As the sector gears for growth, we are continually assessing the needs of our clients. Research is telling us that whilst the recruitment of high calibre engineers and technically skilled people remains the top priority, many companies also view identifying quality executive and middle management as being just as important.”