EXHIBITORS and attendees at the region’s biggest engineering and manufacturing event are being offered free heath checks while they network.

For the first time, Durham Oktoberfest has struck a deal with the NHS for them to carry out Checks for Life.

The healthchecks look at things like weight, height and body mass index (BMI); cholesterol levels and a person’s chances of being affected by serious life changing conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.

Oktoberfest events director Paul Sun said: “Every year we review what we offer exhibitors and attendees and the itinerary evolves based on the feedback we get.

“We know people are becoming more and more conscious of their health so what better way than to pop in for a free check up while you’re networking. The NHS team will be on hand throughout the day for people to register for their free check up and we’re expecting lots of people to take advantage of this new service.”

Durham Oktoberfest 2016 is being held at the Xcel Centre in Newton Aycliffe on Thursday, October 20.

Dozens of businesses have already booked their exhibition space, while hundreds of people from the region’s manufacturing and engineering sectors are expected through the doors to meet potential clients and suppliers.

David Land, Chairman of County Durham Engineering and Manufacturing Network (CDEMN) which organises Durham Oktoberfest, said: “With the additons we’ve made to the line up, we’re confident this year will be the best yet.

“Every year the event attracts event more engineering and manufacturing companies who want to put themselves in front of potential customers and suppliers. And we know from the number of returning businesses and the positive feedback they give us that event does help them grow.”

Business Durham is once again this year’s gold sponsor, while the silver sponsors are Altec Engineering