The North East’s thriving automotive cluster

North East England has a thriving and successful automotive cluster.

The region produces 30% of all UK automotive vehicles, which includes 20% of all battery electric vehicles across Europe and 350,000 engines per year. Three of the UK’s top five off-highway manufacturers are based here and produce 10% of all UK non-highway vehicles.

It is home to a globally competitive supply chain that consists of 31 Tier 1 suppliers, over 200 T2-TN suppliers, a wealth of specialist SMEs, 21 R&D centres and a strong business support network. The sector employs over 30,000 people, exports £7.4 billion and has a turnover of £11 billion per annum.

Supporting the evolution of the region’s automotive sector is the North East Automotive Alliance (NEAA). An industry-led cluster organisation, the NEAA works directly with OEMs and the supply chain across North East England delivering support to improve competitiveness and sustainable growth.

The electrification opportunity

Electrification is a key part of the Government’s plan to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to Net Zero by 2050 and this represents a huge opportunity for the North East of England. (Source: North East Automotive Alliance 2022).   

The North East’s unrivalled experience in engineering and advanced manufacturing coupled with the strength of our automotive sector, provides the foundation for electrification technologies, particularly in electric vehicles and batteries.

Significant investment is already being made to develop Gigafactory battery plants in the region, namely Envision AESC in nearby Sunderland and Britishvolt in Northumberland, further cementing the Region’s reputation in electrification for generations to come.

International Advanced Manufacturing Park

The International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP) will be a nationally important and internationally respected location for advanced manufacturing and European-scale supply chain industries. 

Spread across 150 hectares, IAMP will provide over 390,000m2 of industrial floorspace alongside new infrastructure and services, creating an attractive working environment for businesses to thrive. It has easy access to road, sea and rail networks for importing and exporting goods across the UK, and globally.

The site is in close proximity to Nissan’s Sunderland plant which has manufactured over 10 million cars in the North East since its launch in 1986, and invested over £3.5bn in the plant.  It accounts for 30% of all UK car production and exports to more than 130 markets. (Source: North East Automotive Alliance 2022).

IAMP is already home to SNOP, Faltec and soon the Envision AESC gigaplant, which has planning approval with construction starting imminently.

The Port of Tyne

The Port of Tyne in South Tyneside is the UK’s second largest car export hub, handling more than 600,000 cars a year. It has a solid reputation in the automotive world and its three secure, dedicated vehicle terminals are an essential part of that.

Customers including Nissan, VW and Höegh trust the Port of Tyne with their vehicles. As well as three dedicated vehicle terminals, there is additional land for overflows and one-off shipments, with land available for development, very close to RoRo berths.

Our talented automotive workforce

Our region sees 25,000 people employed in the automotive sector and a pipeline of talent coming through both further education colleges and our region’s five universities.

We are working with industry to ensure that the relevant skillsets are available to support the automotive sector, including:

There are more than 110,000 students in the region’s five universities, with over half studying Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects, ensuring a large talent pool of future industry-ready employees. 

Local colleges and universities offer over 300 advanced manufacturing-related courses, many of which are integrally linked to the prospective jobs market. The Institute for Automotive and Manufacturing Advanced Practice (AMAP) at Sunderland University, for example, provides access to cutting-edge industry expertise.

The Skills Academy for Sustainable Manufacturing and Innovation (SASMI) is a state-of-the-art facility for training workers in the low-carbon automotive manufacturing sector, covering all aspects of the industry’s skills needs and training the workforce of the future to make Nissan’s market-leading electric vehicles. (Source: Invest North East 2022.)

Support for your automotive business

Our dedicated team will provide practical support for automotive organisations setting up a facility in South Tyneside.

Get in touch with your requirements, whether you are thinking about relocating, looking to expand your business, or if you are just setting up in North East England. 

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