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    Northern Automotive Alliance Awards show the strength of the manufacturing base in the Northern Powerhouse

    The winners of the Northern Automotive Alliance (NAA) Awards 2015 provide a clear demonstration that the automotive industry in the Northern Powerhouse area is making a significant and growing contribution to the regional – and national – economy…

    The NAA Awards took place in Cheshire on 12th November 2015, featuring keynote speaker Mike Hawes, Chief Executive, Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders Ltd (SMMT), with an audience of 300 members of the Northern and national automotive community.

    The event also marked the expansion of the Northwest Automotive Alliance to the Northern Automotive Alliance. The core area covered by the NAA now includes the whole of the M62 corridor, ensuring all automotive companies within the Northern Powerhouse have access to a local network.

    The NAA Awards event, sponsored by Bentley Motors, with additional sponsors STRIVE (Simulation Tools for Rapid Innovation in Vehicle Engineering), TWISTER (Titanium Wire for Innovative Spring Technologies and Emissions Reduction) and Vauxhall Motors, showcased the successes of the vehicle manufacturers and supply chain companies in the region.

    The winner of the overall NAA Company of the Year Award 2015, sponsored by Morson Group, was Auto Marine Cables. Auto Marine Cables is a manufacturer of high quality cables and a distributor of electrical components and accessories throughout the Automotive and Marine sectors.

    Auto Marine Cables also won the Business Excellence Project of the Year Award, sponsored by Electron Technical Solutions, for the success it has achieved from introducing a total productive maintenance (TPM) system, resulting in increased efficiency and productivity. Auto Marine Cables is a family-run business that has been operating for over 50 years and currently has over 70 members of staff and an annual turnover of £10m.

    Commenting on receiving the Award, Peter Hammond, Managing Director of Auto Marine Cables, said “We’re delighted to have won the Northern Automotive Alliance Business Excellence and Company of the Year Awards. We’ve been on a journey of continuous improvement for a number of years, with a particular focus on lean manufacturing. The NAA has provided support in a range of areas, helping us to become more efficient and achieve profitable growth – an excellent example of how the NAA provides cost-effective assistance to automotive businesses.”

    The other Award winners at the event were:

    International Trade Award
    Sponsored by UKTI
    Amann Threads UK Ltd

    Innovation Award
    Sponsored by Jaguar Land Rover
    EA Technology (for the ‘My Electric Avenue’ project)

    Supplier Excellence Award
    Sponsored by Industry Forum
    Sigmatex (UK) Ltd

    Logistics Excellence Award
    Sponsored by DHL Supply Chain
    Mini Gears (Stockport) Ltd

    Community Outreach Award, SME
    Sponsored by Festo
    CSA Group Testing UK Ltd

    Community Outreach Award, Large Enterprise
    Sponsored by Festo
    Bentley Motors Ltd

    Carol Holden, NAA Chief Executive, commented “Our Annual Awards event has shown that many companies in the North West can demonstrate impressive growth following support from the NAA, so it makes sense to expand our service to companies in the Yorkshire and Humber region. We will continue to provide focused support to vehicle manufacturers and the supply base along the extended M62 corridor from Liverpool to Hull.”

    The Northern Automotive Alliance helps to support and nurture supply chain companies to grow into larger businesses, in order to strengthen the upstream supply chain in the UK. The NAA is working with the Automotive Investment Organisation (AIO) to help supply chain companies to increase sales to OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers, to access finance and to promote trade opportunities.

    Lawrence Davies, Deputy CEO, UKTI Automotive Investment Organisation, added: “The innovative companies celebrated in these awards demonstrate the range and depth of the UK’s automotive manufacturing industry. The NAA has played a key role in developing this capability in the North West. I look forward to working with the NAA as it expands its reach to the wider Northern Powerhouse region.”

    The NAA is an independent, not-for-profit company which provides a membership service to the automotive community, supporting micro-companies through to the locally-based global vehicle manufacturers.

    The NAA’s Business Excellence programme came to an end in June 2015, concluding four years of sector-specific financial support for Automotive supply chain businesses in the North West. It provided flexible support to help participating companies increase performance; focusing on improving business practices, sustainability, competitiveness and profitability.

    The project has been successful in meeting its targets, and an area worthy of note is in the number of jobs created (292) and jobs safeguarded (932) that the project has helped to achieve. Using a regional GVA per manufacturing employee in the North West of £62,130*, the net attributable impact as a direct result of jobs is around £76m. This means that the project has helped to leverage a return on the £2m original investment of 38:1. With £1 million of funding from the European Regional Development Fund matched by £1 million from the private sector, the programme has been an excellent example of what can be achieved through joint finance and regional support.

    Find out more at

    * Office of National Statistics: Regional Labour Productivity Data by Industry 2012

    European Regional Development Fund Northern Powerhouse
    Partners Department for Business Innovation and Skills Finance Birmingham