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21 Jun 2018



Wilton, UK. Thursday 21 June 2018. World leading manufacturing firms have come together with the local supply businesses to share the opportunities arising from process sector investment projects taking place in North East England.

On Wednesday 20 June, more than 600 delegates attended the annual Meet the Members conference and exhibition at Wynyard Hall’s Grand Marquee hosted by industry cluster NEPIC.

Guests heard from industry giants SABIC UK Petrochemicals, Quorn, Sembcorp, FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies, GSK and CF Fertilisers about the world scale projects and developments with the potential for billions of pounds to be invested in the region.

South Tees Development Corporation provided delegates with a ‘year-on’ update about the progress being made on the former SSI site and the opportunities that expected future investor announcements will bring.

Looking further ahead, Warwick Manufacturing Group outlined the automotive and grid storage markets for batteries and the opportunities for the UK supply chain, and the High Tide Foundation highlighted the importance of collaboration to inspire the next workforce generation.

Supporting the conference was a 95-company strong exhibition that showcased the outstanding, innovative product and service solution providers operating in the North East, and collaborating for growth and excellence.

Organisers also facilitated over 180 business exchange meetings that took place during the event between the firm’s member companies and pool of industry mentors.

Newly appointed chairman of NEPIC, Mark Kenrick, who opened the conference, commented:

“I said in my opening introduction that the 8th Meet the Members event would be the biggest and the best yet and I think that the diversity and quality of the inputs from the speakers, and the range of exhibitors, was excellent and more than proved that.

“Based on what I heard and saw I have no doubts that the future of the process-based industries and their supply chains in the North East of England is bright, and that exciting changes in what we are doing, and how, lie ahead”.

NEPIC chief executive, Philip Aldridge, added:

“This event showcased both the current health and future opportunities for the region’s process sector. I believe that NEPIC can play an important role in helping the sector take those opportunities around new technologies, markets and funding streams. A larger process sector will also require NEPIC’s ability to represent and capture sector synergies.”

Conference speakers outlined their motivation for supporting the event. Quorn’s general manager, Steve Finn, said:

“We want to share our truly ‘local’ success story. The growth and investment within the Quorn business will boost the local economy, increase employment and help to increase skills and innovation in the North East region.”

Engineering and programme director at South tees Development Corporation, John McNicholas, added:

“Engagement with local businesses and industry will be pivotal to delivering a successful regeneration programme on South Tees. The regeneration undertaking is a massive one, never before attempted on this scale in the UK, and the ambitions are, by necessity, bold.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the Tees Valley, and for local and regional business to play a key role in realising the best outcomes possible for the area. The South Tees Development Corporation is therefore delighted to support the NEPIC Meet the Members Conference.”

Jane Goult, commercial marketing manager at Sembcorp, commented:

“Meet the Members is a fantastic opportunity to give business and industry leaders from across the region an insight into how we are playing our part in the industrial and economic regeneration of the Tees Valley and to explain our strategy in the context of the rapid changes in the UK and global energy markets.”

Now in its 8th year, NEPIC’s annual Meet the Members conference and exhibition has become a stand out event for the region and the industries that operate here by combining knowledge sharing, networking and collaboration.

Neil Warwick OBE, Head of EU and Competition at commercial law firm, Square One Law, which recently chose Stockton as the location for its first office outside of Newcastle, said:

“We attended NEPIC’s Meet the Members Conference for the first time this year and it was great to see so many of our clients, such as px Group, South Tees Development Corporation and Phusion IM promoting their investment and continued success within the North East. As well as hearing updates about how the Government’s proposed Industrial Strategy, Devolution and the Northern Powerhouse could affect the Cluster, it was also a useful opportunity to cement new inter-disciplinary partnerships with companies we will be working much closer with in the future.”

John Holmes, Managing Director of Reprotec UK Ltd said:

“NEPIC’s Meet the Members event was exceptionally well organised and effective in connecting members from across the range of process industries. The 1-2-1 meetings were extremely beneficial and impressively scheduled to maximum efficiency. We thoroughly enjoyed the day; there was a positive and friendly atmosphere among the NEPIC team, exhibitors and delegates, and as a result we made many new contacts.”

This year’s event was kindly sponsored by Future Industrial Services, WSP, University of Bradford, ITS, E-ON Energy, RWS language Solutions, Frazer-Nash and Tomlinson Hall.


NEPIC, the North East Process Industry Cluster, is a membership organisation that represents the broad range of inter-related chemistry using industries in North East England. The Cluster works with its member companies to provide a more collaborative environment and ultimately support the long-term sustainable growth of the sector.

This is a globally significant region for the process industry as there are more than 1,400 companies directly involved or in the supply chain of these sectors, generating £26 billion of annual sales, who employ 190,000 people and export £12 billion each year. This is the North East’s largest industrial sector and vital to the future of the Northeast economy.

For more information visit or contact Louise Gwynne-Jones, PR & Communications Manager, via or call 01642 442 569 / 07808 029 967

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© Copyright. North East of England Process Industry Cluster (NEPIC) 2015