HARTLEPOOL has been strengthening its ties with Germany after welcoming a high-level delegation from the country.
Wolfgang Moessinger, Consul General of Germany for the North-East and Scotland, and John Knight, Honorary German Consul for the Tees Valley and North Yorkshire spent time in Hartlepool during a whistlestop tour of Teesside.
Edinburgh-based Mr Moessinger was making his first visit to town and popped into the Hartlepool Mail office, visited HMS Trincomalee and St Hilda’s Church on the Headland.
He also spent time at the Civic Centre where he was hosted by Mayor Stuart Drummond.
Mr Moessinger, 54, said: “Looking at Hartlepool and the wider area, I have seen the large amount of land available for investment and also the infrastructure and skills already here and I think it is certainly worth advertising that to German companies.
“The big German firms are looking years ahead – beyond the era of austerity – and I am sure that the UK has a lot to offer in terms of as a partner and as a skills base.”
Mr Moessinger, who served in the German Foreign Service, was keen to promote German language teaching in schools and also the potential for schools in Hartlepool and Germany to link up through the internet.
He told the Mail: “People not learning a foreign language to a level where it can be used can hinder that person when it comes to doing business, or applying for a job, or studying abroad because they do not have that confidence.”
Mr Moessinger added that Hartlepool had many positives and he had enjoyed his brief visit to town.
Mail editor Joy Yates said: “It was a pleasure and an honour to meet Mr Moessinger and we had a very interesting and positive discussion about the town.
“It was pleasing to hear his first visit to Hartlepool was an interesting one.”
Mayor Drummond said: “I was also able to explain how Hartlepool and the Tees Valley are taking advantage of the Government’s economic initiatives and how we are also exploring the many potential opportunities offered by the renewable energy industries.
“I think it was very clear to Mr Moessinger how very much we welcome overseas investment in Hartlepool and the Tees Valley as a whole and how committed we are to doing everything we can to encourage and facilitate that.”
Mr Knight, who lives in Middlesbrough, said: “Events such as the Tall Ships celebration in 2010 have been marvellous in raising the profile of the town even further and the many excellent firms in Hartlepool – such as Heerema, for example – are proof of the very considerable skills which are here in the town.”