Businesses in the North East are leading the way in innovative product development.

That’s the message from Ben Gilhespy, operations director at the newly rebranded The Engineering and Manufacturing Network.

He believes companies in the North East are becoming more and more advanced in the products they manufacture – backed up by the fact so many businesses in the North East are making products that are being used all over the world.

Ben said: “The diversity of the 300 plus businesses we count as our members is vast and spans every sector within the broad remit of engineering and manufacturing, as well as all sizes from micro to large corporates.

“Manufacturing styles also vary greatly from traditional methods to more modern advanced manufacturing techniques where technology is used to optimum effect. There is of course a place within the sector for all production methods and whilst demands of volume frequently require an automated element there are many situations where a keen eye and years of experience have as much of a place at the table as technology.”

Ben’s overview of the sector comes following the rebrand of County Durham Engineering Manufacturing Network to the Engineering and Manufacturing Network (EMN) to reflect the organisation’s growth regionally.

Ben added: “Our re-brand is simply a better way of describing who we are and the fact we are a regional network offering invaluable support to businesses which want to grow.

“The months and years ahead currently appear uncertain, so being a part of a community of businesses who look to support each other and draw on shared expertise and resource is critical to our region’s success.

“Let’s celebrate the skills, experience, innovations and diversity in manufacturing that the North East represents and work together for a stronger future.”