Screen Shot 2015-11-26 at 09.11.36NORTH EAST businessman Mike Matthews has been named as this year’s Manufacturing Champion at a prestigious industry awards.

Mike Matthews MBE, managing director and European operations manager at plastics manufacturing company Nifco UK, was awarded the title of Manufacturing Champion at this year’s EEF/Aldermore Future Manufacturing awards, in recognition of his commitment to the manufacturing industry and ‘using his profile to galvanise the manufacturing community to take action on the issues that impact them the most.’

The awards, held at Pavilions of Harrogate on Thursday, November 19, celebrated the best and brightest stars in the area’s manufacturing industry. Mr Matthews was chosen as the winner of the title after a competitive judging process.

Mr Matthews said: “It’s a privilege to be named as this year’s Manufacturing Champion. While I have been a part of the team at Nifco for many, many years, it is the last seven years when I have been at the helm that we have really pushed for growth and we’ve accelerated our development with two new factories and hundreds of new jobs. That alone is fantastic, but being given this title really is a huge honour. Manufacturing has been at the core of my professional life for many years, from the work I do at Nifco to the business organisations I am part of where we share best practice and innovations to drive the industry forward – I am thrilled that to have received this recognition.

“This award represents a symbol of optimism for Nifco and also the wider Tees Valley. We commit to what we do best – we have the best people, people with a great work ethic and we have many fantastic learning institutions who are providing the skills and ambition of the future to cement our local hub of industry excellence – manufacturing, chemical, engineering, oil & gas – Teesside is a great place to set up a base.”

Last year, the business, which produces plastic parts used in the manufacture of cars including Ford, Honda, Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan, Toyota and Vauxhall Opel, opened its second factory with a specialised research and development facility to help it improve the efficiency of its products. It also announced its biggest ever single contract win, with Ford signing up to work with the firm – a contract worth £50million.

Nifco employs over 560 staff and is looking to expand further, with the prospect of further sales expansion.

Mr Matthews added: “It is a pleasure to work with such a fantastic team to be able to push the business onward and upward, and awards like these are testament to the dedication of the whole team, not just me. Success is not something we can achieve alone – it requires a full team effort. We’re working to ensure Nifco continues to grow and we hope to be back at next year’s awards celebrating even more success.”

For more information about Nifco, visit www.nifcoeu.com.

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