C&E Spotlight: Bernard Garner, Director General of Nexus
Sage Gateshead welcomes many types and sizes of companies looking for the perfect venue for their conferences and events. Here Bernard Garner, director general of Nexus, shares his experience of working with us after we hosted the organisation’s staff awards ceremony recently.
Please introduce yourself in terms of name and role and provide some brief information about Nexus:
A: Bernard Garner, Director General of Nexus. Nexus is the Passenger Transport Executive that delivers public transport on behalf of the North East Combined Authority. Nexus owns and manages the Tyne and Wear Metro system, which carries 37 million passengers a year. Nexus also owns and operates the cross-Tyne Shields Ferry Service.
What event did you recently hold at Sage Gateshead and what was its overall purpose?
A: Nexus held its annual staff awards ceremony at Sage Gateshead. The purpose is to recognise the achievements of our staff over the last 12 months. Awards ranged from customer service excellence and long service, to delivering major public engagement programmes and the ongoing £389m Metro modernisation programme, which is being funded by the Government.
Why did you choose Sage Gateshead as the venue and how did the event go?
A: Sage Gateshead is a truly iconic venue and our staff really enjoyed their evening there. We have held previous awards evenings at Sage and we didn’t hesitate to come back this year as the facilities are first class.
What can Sage Gateshead offer that other conference and event providers can’t?
A: Sage Gateshead is such an iconic location, and that really makes the venue stand out, head and shoulders above the other venues. The setting on the Quayside on an early summer’s night provided a wonderful backdrop for our ceremony, while the acoustics and ambience inside were exactly what we wanted.
What other exciting news and developments does Nexus have planned in the coming months?
A: Nexus is continuing the complete modernisation of the Tyne and Wear Metro system, which is now 34 years-old. Over half of the trains have been refurbished and we expect the whole fleet to be finished by 2015. We are also at the start of a consultation process about Metro’s future, which means we are looking at where we might be able to extend the system in the years to come, and make a business case for a brand new fleet of trains.