Global growth predicted for local engineering and manufacturing firms

Staff at NSK, one of County Durhams success stories.
Staff at NSK, one of County Durhams success stories.
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Firms in engineering and manufacturing are ideally positioned to become global leaders.

That’s according to Ben Gilhespy, operations director at County Durham Engineering and Manufacturing Network (CDEMN), who believes the region’s 1,000 companies can build on their success in 2016. He said: “This area has a rich heritage of being at the cutting edge of the engineering and manufacturing sectors.

Over the last few months I’ve met dozens of businesses to find out what their priorities are for 2017 and how our network can help them achieve their ambitions. The encouraging thing is so many of them are optimistic and are actively pursuing plans for growth, whether that’s by adding to their workforces or expanding their presence in the area

Ben Gilhespy

“Who could do without the humble lightbulb, safety match or windscreen wiper? And let’s not forget the impact of Stephenson’s Rocket on the rail industry, or the popularity of the drink we now know as Lucozade, which hails from the North East.

“Today the county is just as successful, with some of the country’s greatest businesses including Black and Decker, Husqvarna, 3M and Hitachi all located here.”

County Durham boasts names such as NSK Bearings, ZF TRW and Mecaplast, plus home grown successes including GT Group, Altec Engineering, Ebac, E-Max Systems and Dyer Engineering.

Ben added: “Over the last few months I’ve met dozens of businesses to find out what their priorities are for 2017 and how our network can help them achieve their ambitions. The encouraging thing is so many of them are optimistic and are actively pursuing plans for growth, whether that’s by adding to their workforces or expanding their presence in the area.

“I believe this is testament to our strengths within the engineering and manufacturing sectors and am confident that over the next 12 months our employers can help shine the international spotlight on County Durham for all the right reasons.”