Wilton, UK. 10 August 2017. Business confidence amongst the region’s chemical-processing sector remains high, according to the latest survey undertaken by industry body, NEPIC.

Following a survey of its 300-plus member companies – comprising of major North East manufacturers, downstream producers and associated supply chain – four fifths reported a high level of optimism, with winning new domestic orders at the heart of this positive outlook, along with the development of new products and services.

Talent attraction and retention remains the biggest challenge for local companies, coupled with intense competition from emerging markets.

NEPIC chief executive, Iain Wright, commented on the results:

“It is highly encouraging that the North East’s chemical-processing sector is reporting a positive business outlook, with recent investments in the region by some of our multinationals, such as Sabic and Fujifilm Diosynth Technologies, acting as a catalyst for this confidence.  

“Firms in the region are clearly shrugging off the uncertainties surrounding Brexit and are gearing up to grow by winning new orders in the UK, as well as improving and refining their goods and services to customers. This is really positive and shows the inherent strength of the North East as a great place to do business.

“North East firms produce great goods and services that have demand all over the world. We would encourage firms, with our support, to look to overseas markets as a lucrative source of new markets for their products and future wealth creation.
“Highlighted challenges, notably firms’ concerns surrounding their ability to retain and recruit suitable talent for their growth plans reinforces the importance of close co-operation between industry and government and the roll-out of a proper Industry Strategy that benefits firms in the North East.”

Iain concluded:

“We will continue to work closely with our members to help them realise their ambitions at home, explore more opportunities overseas and ensure their concerns are heard and actioned.” 

North East England is home to the chemistry-using industries of chemicals, petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, biofuels and renewable energy and low carbon materials. There are more than 1,400 companies directly involved or in the supply chain of these industries, generating £26 billion of annual sales.

NEPIC is a membership organisation working with the chemical-using industries in the North East of England. Privately-owned, led by industry, the firm works to support cluster members to become successful and sustainable organisations, in a collaborative business environment that helps them to grow.


NEPIC, the North East Process Industry Cluster, is a membership organisation that represents the broad range of inter-related chemistry using industries in North East England. The Cluster works with its member companies to provide a more collaborative environment and ultimately support the long-term sustainable growth of the sector.

This is a globally significant region for the process industry as there are more than 1,400 companies directly involved or in the supply chain of these sectors, generating £26 billion of annual sales, who employ 190,000 people and export £12 billion each year. This is the North East’s largest industrial sector and vital to the future of the Northeast economy.

For more information visit or contact Louise Gwynne-Jones, PR & Communications Manager, via or call 01642 442 569 / 07808 029 967

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