North East Automotive Cluster Takes Local Businesses to Automechanika Birmingham

North East SMEs and member companies are to attend the first UK-based Automechanika automotive supply chain and aftermarket trade show, supported by the North East Automotive Alliance (NEAA).

Automechanika Birmingham, hosted at NEC Birmingham, is the UK’s leading automotive exhibition bringing together the very best of both aftermarket and supply chain to celebrate and support the growing UK automotive industry.

A delegation of six NEAA members including Briggs Equipment, The Expanded Metal Company, Hyperdrive Innovation, Paragon Rapid Technologies, Motorclips Direct and Institute for Automotive and Manufacturing Advanced Practice (AMAP) will promote their highly innovative and technical products and services to the automotive marketplace on stand 9G21B at the event running 7 to 9 June.

The NEAA, now the largest automotive cluster in the UK and one of the biggest in Europe, was established to support the sustainable economic growth of the North East of England’s automotive sector. Through the NEAA, companies take a collaborative approach to improving the region’s global competitiveness. One of the fundamental areas the alliance seeks to support is trade and investment opportunities for its members, with attendance at key automotive trade shows a vital part of this.

Paul Butler, CEO at NEAA, said: “The North East of England accounts for 30% of the UK’s car industry, with sales over £10.2bn and 30,000 people directly employed by the sector. This makes the automotive industry a huge part of the North East economy and we are extremely proud to be the home of world renowned OEMs, world class Tier 1 companies, innovative SMEs and sole traders.

“Since the NEAA was set up over a year ago, it has really created a great awareness of the sector and the value that’s been created here. The alliance gives members an opportunity to work together to tackle some of the challenges we face as a group, as well as highlighting the true size and value of the industry in the North East.”

Automechanika Birmingham is the largest event of its kind in the UK and will attract 10,000 industry professionals over the three days. Up to 550 international and domestic exhibitors will display their latest designs and technologies. The show will provide an opportunity for North East companies to expand their customer base in the UK, thus strengthening their presence in the North East.

Mr Butler continues: “We look forward to showcasing the strengths of the North East region at Automechanika Birmingham and providing a vehicle for our members to demonstrate their products and services, whilst developing vital industry contacts.”

The NEAA was recently fast-tracked to Bronze Label status by the European Cluster Excellence Initiative, which benchmarks cluster groups on quality indicators including achievements, recognition and management. It is the only cluster in Europe to be awarded this recognition in under a year of operation.

Note to Editors:

Briggs Equipment is the exclusive UK distributor for the Hyster and Yale ranges of forklift trucks and other materials handling equipment, flexible enough to support you whether you’re looking to buy new or used equipment, hire machinery for a short or long term period or simply to choose a service partner who will become a trusted part of your operations.

The Expanded Metal Company can offer the most comprehensive range of expanded metal mesh available anywhere in the world, also specialising in mesh pressings and finished mesh products for the filtration and architectural markets, as well as supplying perforated sheets and alternatives to woven and welded wire.

Hyperdrive Innovation designs and manufactures high energy density lithium-ion battery systems working alongside OEMs in the development of electric and hybrid electric vehicles. From its Sunderland base the company’s patented battery management technology and modular battery systems are being deployed in automotive, off-highway, industrial and marine applications.

Paragon Rapid Technologies provide both rapid prototyping and low volume production solutions to a growing customer base, working closely with customers to produce highly scrutinised models from 3D CAD data, whether it be to visually present a new concept, or to perform as per the finished product for testing.

With over 10 years of experience, Motorclips Direct has grown to be a leading supplier of automotive fasteners in the UK. They have an extensive range of plastic and metal automotive fasteners for many makes of vehicles and aside from fasteners their inventory includes cable ties, cable accessories, hose clamps and pop rivets.

Institute for Automotive and Manufacturing Advanced Practice (AMAP) aims to inform, inspire and innovate in Advanced Manufacturing, which includes all aspects of automotive engineering and low carbon vehicles. AMAP, at the University of Sunderland, is an innovative, accessible, and outward facing provider of support for industry based upon the application of research and knowledge of advanced manufacturing recognised regionally, nationally and internationally


The NEAA SME project is receiving up to £669,000 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for ERDF.

Established by the European Union ERDF funds help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit: