AFTER six years of hard work for more than 500 process industry companies, the regional cluster group NEPIC has reached a major milestone, with more £1bn of added value for the regional economy.
With running costs of £1m per year, provided jointly by industry and - for now - the public sector, NEPIC has generated over 166 times the investment made into its activities.
Chief executive Dr Stan Higgins is justifiably proud of the achievement, saying: “A key part of our success has been bringing together the huge pool of talent that exists in the North-east and using this to help attract investment into the region.
“It is doubtful whether any other industry-led organisation can match our success rate or the value for money that we offer to the UK economy.”
Working with private and public sector partners, the cluster has helped to win new investments that have secured or created 3,364 jobs.
This impressive performance has helped the organisation grow to 550 members in just six years.
According to research undertaken by the Chemical Industries Association in conjunction with the Office of National Statistics, each job in the process sector in the UK generates more than £92,000 per annum of value to the UK economy.
“Winning new investment is never simple and each new project has its own complexities,” said Dr Higgins.
“The NEPIC team benefits hugely from the great support and knowhow provided by our Industry Leadership Team and our members, as well as our public sector partners, such as One North East and Tees Valley Unlimited.
“I hope that the value of this work will be recognised by the coalition Government, as our ability to achieve similar results in future will depend on receiving some support from the public purse.
“We had to find a new home when it was decided that the Olympic Stadium would be built on our former site in London and it seemed like only seconds before Stan was on the phone,” said Mottie Kessler chairman and CEO of Banner Chemicals.
“We now have a site in Middlesbrough where we have built our new plant and created many jobs.
“The knowledge and business intelligence that NEPIC offers were vital to our investment decisions,” he added.
“NEPIC is currently working on a list of 62 new investment opportunities, collectively worth over £5bn,” said Bob Coxon, chairman of NEPIC.
“It is crucial to the success of the wider regional economy that process industries continue to rejuvenate and grow.
“This can only be achieved through collaboration and knowledge-sharing, facilities by NEPIC and its partners, who give us the detailed intelligence we need to win more inward investment.”
TUESDAY: Stan Higgins writes for next week’s Gazette Business supplement about the far-reaching role of NEPIC in the process industry