Dutch visitors’ tour has an art addition

Officials from The Embassy of the Netherlands in London received a unique insight into the heritage of south east Northumberland during a recent visit to AkzoNobel’s state-of-the-art facility.

Friday, 17th May 2019, 7:48 pm
From left, Lieke Conijn, Nanja Piek and Martijn Verwegen from The Embassy of the Netherlands in London with the artworks by the Pitmen Painters.

Representatives from the Embassy spent an afternoon touring the manufacturing unit in Ashington.

During the visit, the officials received a guided tour of the plant, met with staff and also had a unique opportunity to learn more about the site’s cultural values through the medium of art. Home to the iconic Dulux brand, the £100million site is the single largest investment ever made by the Dutch-headquartered paints and coatings business.

In addition to showcasing its manufacturing prowess, the company was keen to impress upon its visitors the unique culture that the site was founded on, which takes into close consideration the industrial background of the area.

To help illustrate this culture, quite literally for its guests, AkzoNobel Ashington teamed up with the nearby Woodhorn Museum to loan two original works of art by the Ashington Group, along with the paint set that was used to create one of the paintings.

The group, also known as the Pitmen Painters, was made up of amateur artists who rose to fame for their canvas depictions of life above and below ground for mining communities in Northumberland.

Jeff Hope, head of manufacturing unit at AkzoNobel Ashington, said: “This was the first time that the Embassy has visited Ashington, so this is undoubtedly a big milestone in our site’s history.”