THE Princess Royal will visit the North East to launch a world-class marine research facility linked to one of the region’s universities.
Princess Anne is due to meet eminent professors at Newcastle University on February 4, before making a speech about marineNewcastle, a research unit expected to put the university at the centre of marine life study. The centre will see Newcastle academics examine the impact of climate change as well as aquaculture – the farming of fish, shellfish and crustaceans in captivity.
The new state-of-the-art “research vessel” will bring together researchers and strengthen links between the university, renewable energy companies, engineers and environmental groups.
The Royal visit is expected to coincide with the university publishing important research findings expected to put Newcastle “on the map”.
Professor Tony Clare, co-ordinator of marineNewcastle, is looking forward to the event and said the centre could provide the key to the resurgence of the marine sector.
He said: “The North East's marine connection dates back to the middle ages when the Tyne became one of the main trading rivers in the country.
“The subsequent growth of the shipbuilding industry served to reinforce the North East's reputation as a major centre of maritime activity.
“Newcastle University, with its wide-ranging research interests in many aspects of marine science and technology, and its research collaborations around the globe, is uniquely placed to position the North East at the heart of the maritime world once again.”
The Princess Royal’s 20-year-old niece Princess Eugenie is studying for a degree in English, History of Art and Politics at the university.
A spokesman for the Royal Family said it is unlikely her aunt will get the time out from her busy schedule to see her niece.
A spokesman for the Lord Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear said: “We are delighted the Princess Royal will be visiting.”
The Princess Royal visited Northumberland twice last year to carry out a series of engagements and meet local people.