The Duke of York spent a day in the North East on Wednesday, meeting business leaders and students and opening Gateshead’s new Trinity Square development.
Beginning the day, The Duke heard how the town centre has been redeveloped and regenerated and met with from university students and apprentices over a working lunch. The development’s new student accommodation for Northumbria University can house up to 1000 people.
The Trinity Square development occupies the site of the previous Trinity Square car park which was demolished in 2010 and was made famous in the 1971 film, Get Carter. At a cost of £150million, the new centre now houses a large Tesco supermarket, a shopping precinct, student accommodation, nine-screen cinema, bars and restaurants.
The Duke also made visits to two local schools, Whitley Bay and Studio West, to meet with students who are taking part in a nationwide enterprise competition.
The competition, run by the Peter Jones Foundation, sees students create new business ventures which they are hoping to showcase in February at an awards ceremony in London.
Speaking during the visit, The Duke said:
“It’s giving you the opportunity to think about becoming an entrepreneur and being at the forefront of this sort of thing that is going to change the future of the economy in this country,”
“It’s very interesting to see not only the thought that you have put into your ideas, but how you have come together and worked as a team. So I’d just like to say congratulations.
“I wish you all every success.”
The Duke is Patron of the charity and last year hosted the awards ceremony at Buckingham Palace, as part of entrepreneur Peter Jones’s ‘Tycoon in Schools’ project.
Whilst in the region, Prince Andrew also opened a new accommodation building at the Derwenthaugh Sea Cadet Training Centre.
The £650,000 building is designed to allow cadets to undertake boat training courses without having the trouble of travelling to and from the site. The Duke was given a tour of the premises and unveiled a plaque to mark the opening.
Image Credits: The Duke of York’s Office