NEW BEDFORD — Senator Mark Montigny hosted British Consul General Harriet Cross in New Bedford on Monday, to explore possible future collaborations among economic and cultural sectors.

A small roundtable discussion held at the New Bedford Whaling Museum kick-started the day, where local economic and cultural stakeholders discussed the burgeoning renaissance of New Bedford's economy and thriving arts community.

Courtesy Senator Montigny's Office

Commercial fishing, offshore wind and a shared heritage of rich arts and cultural connections dominated much of the discussion. Consul General Cross then received a tour of the recently restored Seamen's Bethel, followed by a sneak preview of the new SMAST facility in the South End of the city, guided by Dean Stephen Lohrenz.

Courtesy Senator Montigny's Office

Consul General Cross serves as the most senior UK official in the Boston Consulate General, which serves under the UK Embassy. She represents the UK government and performs a variety of official duties, including visa and trade activities in Boston and the surrounding region. Last November, Consul General Cross personally interviewed Senator Montigny's Director of Community Affairs, Jacob Miller, for the prestigious Marshall Scholarship. That same month, Jacob was awarded the scholarship out of a pool of 946 endorsed applicants. Jacob then introduced Harriet Cross to Senator Montigny to help expand her contacts throughout the Commonwealth to include New Bedford as a prime destination for commerce, culture and tourism.

Courtesy Senator Montigny's Office

"It was an honor and privilege to be able to help introduce Consul General Cross to our beloved city," said Senator Montigny, a longtime leader in building a thriving New Bedford arts and culture landscape. "It is my hope that today's introduction will serve as a catalyst for future partnerships in offshore wind, arts, culture and tourism, as well as a long-lasting and fruitful relationship between our community and the Consul General."

Courtesy Senator Montigny's Office

Senator Montigny and Consul General Cross were joined during the visit by Rick Kidder of the New Bedford Chamber of Commerce; Tony Sapienza of the New Bedford Economic Development Council and Joseph Abboud Manufacturing; Lee Blake of the New Bedford Historical Society; Lee Heald of AHA!; Fred Toomey of the New Bedford Port Society; and Michelle Taylor, Christina Connett and Sarah Rose of the New Bedford Whaling Museum.

--Senator Montigny's Office