Industry progress sparks new name

December 7, 2018

Ben Gilhespy, operations director at newly rebranded The Engineering and Manufacturing Network (formerly CDEMN), reflects on the growth of the sectors since the organisation was launched two years ago and how companies in the region are leading the way in innovative product development

There’s no doubt, as a region we’re becoming more and more innovative – backed up by the fact so many businesses in the North East are making products that are being used all over the world.
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,
course, a place within the sector for all production methods and while 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.

We have now reached a point in our evolution where our geography has organically grown well outside of County Durham. Companies from across the region want to be part of our network, seeing the benefits of being part of an organisation that is supporting business growth on a daily basis.

Hot topics remain true for every business, so identifying funding support, training and upskilling programmes, B2B opportunities and apprenticeship advice are key aspects of our existence. These are added to each week with requests for new suppliers, R&D support, new premises, export advice, technical skills… and so the list goes on.

While not a direct supplier, we can always provide an answer through our expansive range of support organisations which have proved to be an invaluable tool in our arsenal for growth.

So, with a growing membership and expanding geography, the time has come to simply become known as ‘The Engineering and Manufacturing Network’ (EMN).

Does this mean that our focus has changed or that we value County Durham businesses any less? Not at all. This is just a better way of describing who we are, in a similar way to the change of name from our annual Durham Oktoberfest engineering and manufacturing show to EMCON earlier this year, which again is just a better representation of what the event delivers.

The months and years ahead currently appear uncertain, so being a part
of a community of businesses that 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.

The Engineering and Manufacturing Network

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