Automotive and Advanced Manufacturing

North East England Works for Automotive and Advanced Manufacturing

A highly skilled workforce renowned for its exceptional productivity and loyalty, our unmatched operating costs and superb access to UK and overseas markets, make North East England the location of choice for investors.

North East England is one of the UK’s principal locations for advanced manufacturing, with the region having a strong presence in sectors such as automotive manufacturing, rail, aerospace, electronics and pharmaceuticals.

The diversity of businesses settling and investing in our region, demands a variety of locations and skill-sets, all of which we succeed in providing. From food and drink, to chemicals production, to space – North East England is home to some of the UK’s highest grossing industries; and our growing exports from these markets continually promotes our region.

The advanced manufacturing sector in North East England is strong and growing. Global giants such as Nissan, Rolls-Royce, Caterpillar, Nestle, GSK and Siemens have all invested in the region and expanded their operations using our local skilled workforce.

In the second half of 2015 alone, Nissan, Hitachi and Reece group announced cumulative investment of over £200m in their North East England facilities, which enhances the region’s reputation as a hub for advanced manufacturing.

With more than 63,500 specialist workers in the advanced manufacturing sector, a 126,000 strong workforce in wider manufacturing, and an average of 51,000 STEM students coming through our universities every year, we have one of the most solid, reliable and sustainable workforces in the UK. In fact, we’re in the top five UK regions for advanced manufacturing worker numbers.

North East England’s advanced manufacturing exports have steadily climbed, reaching a value of £9.7 billion in 2016. Our most globally influential sector for export is automotive, with other sectors including food and drink, aerospace and pharmaceutical.

The reason behind the growth in advanced manufacturing exports is the aligned growth in businesses now taking advantage of our region’s geographical location, superb business hubs and expert workforce.

In fact, our region continually has a consistent positive balance of trade.

Why Advanced Manufacturers choose North East England
  • Established, working, effective supply chains relating to various advanced manufacturing sectors. For example, the automotive industry is drawn to the North East because of the existing Nissan presence and the high quality, relevant infrastructure

    A large skills base supplying a productive, innovative and highly developed workforce consisting of over 120,000 in wider manufacturing

  • Tailor made training support with over 150 advanced manufacturing-related courses across our five universities and six colleges
  • Exceptional sites and transport infrastructure – nearly 250 acres of space available at low cost development sites, close to major OEMs and with superb access to our ports, airports, rail and road networks

Six reasons why...

INEE Infographic
Investors thriving in our manufacturing heartland

North East England attracts inward investors due to its existing and growing strengths – our business clusters, workforce availability, training schemes, funding opportunities and coastal location allow for fabulous trading environments and subsequent export facilities.

The Port of Tyne is a major European vehicle handler, located just four miles from Nissan’s Sunderland plant, with three car terminals processing 600,000 vehicles every year.

Caterpillar, Komatsu, Calsonic-Kansei, Faltec, Nestle, Vantec Europe Ltd, Proctor and Gamble and Siemens are just some of the major manufacturers representing our most significant home and export sectors, such as automotive, food and drink, pharmaceuticals and cross-sector fabrication.

Global rail manufacturer Hitachi Rail has given a resounding vote of confidence in our advanced manufacturing base by investing £82m into a new factory in Newton Aycliffe, to build the next generation of trains for the East Coast main line.

Key to their decision was the ready availability of a skilled engineering workforce for which the region is renowned.

Our firms also gain competitive advantage by collaborating with our universities, benefiting from their expert industry knowledge.

North East England has a highly skilled, loyal workforce, trained in the very latest manufacturing processes and techniques; with exceptionally low attrition rates meaning that companies are more committed to invest in training their staff for future growth.

Local colleges and universities offer over 150 advanced manufacturing related courses, many of which are integrally linked to the prospective job market. The Institute for Automotive and Manufacturing Advanced Practice (AMAP) at Sunderland University, for example, provides access to cutting edge industry expertise.

Our labour and operating costs are a big attraction to investors.

The North East offers highly competitive salary coats for advanced manufacturing jobs. On average, it costs just over £36,000 to employ an engineer in the North East – a cost saving of 10-20% compared to the East and South East of England and one third cheaper than London.

Our property costs are also very competitive when compared to the rest of the UK. Industrial space in North East England is 20-25% cheaper than Wales and the West Midlands, and more than one quarter cheaper than Scotland.

We have nearly 250 acres of space available across different sites for firms to move into, in addition to centres of excellence such as the Future Technology Centre dedicated to low carbon vehicle and smart home technology development.

Companies easily export their products from our region across the UK and to customers in Europe and other global markets thanks to our outstanding infrastructure, including an international airport and three ports.