The opening event, ‘Modernising Manufacturing: a strategy for the future’, to be held on 19 September at Nissan Manufacturing UK (NMUK), will feature contributions from major regional companies. This will be followed by a six month programme of consultation through task groups.
The task groups will consider the issues of ‘product and process development’, ‘energy and the environment’ and ‘long term and global competitiveness’ before presenting their recommendations to policy makers and invited government ministers in February 2008.
Aimed at defining the needs and support measures required to assist regional manufacturing, Modernising Manufacturing will draw on examples of best practice from multinationals such as Nissan and Procter and Gamble and successful small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
The event has been organised by innovation agency RTC North, which manages the region’s Manufacturing Advisory Service, MAS North East, on behalf of One NorthEast and the Department of Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR).
RTC North managing director Gordon Ollivere MBE said: ‘The North East has an excellent tradition of excellence in Manufacturing, which still accounts for 25 per cent of the regional economy. This event is about responding to global competition and keeping our companies ahead of the competition.’
The chief executive of One NorthEast, Alan Clarke, said: ‘One NorthEast is working with partners to ensure the region continues to compete globally in the field of high-specification manufacturing. Manufacturing has for generations provided the foundation for the regional economy. It is a sector that employs about 150,000 people in the North East, which amounts to nearly 14 per cent of the regional workforce.’