NifcoOne of the region’s leading businessmen has been named among the most influential in his industry, UK-wide.

Mike Matthews MBE, managing director of Eaglescliffe-based plastics manufacturer Nifco UK, was listed in the 70-strong line-up of UK influencers in the domestic plastics sector, along with household names like inventor James Dyson, famous for his revolutionary vacuums, and Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne.

The influential list was drawn up by highly regarded trade publication PRW following a readers’ poll and a specially-convened panel of publication staff and long-standing industry figures.

Mr Matthews, who is also the manufacturer’s European operations officer and current president of the North East Chamber of Commerce, said it was an honour to be held in such high regard by peers in the industry.

He said: “To be listed among such an elite group of men and women who have achieved so much in our industry is humbling and inspiring. To sit in a list with directors, chairs, policy makers, and CEO’s reminds me of how far both Nifco and I have come since I started my career here, and provides the inspiration to continue pushing forward with Nifco.”

Nifco UK manufactures plastic parts for cars including Ford, Honda, Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan, Toyota and Vauxhall Opel. Matthews took the helm in 2008, and the business has gone from strength to strength since.

Nifco moved to a new factory in 2012 and opened a second factory in 2014 and invested in specialist R&D equipment to expand the business’ offer.

Employing more than 560, Mr Matthews has worked with his team, investing in skills and futureproofing the workforce by working on various initiatives to introduce younger people to careers in STEM subjects.

Matthews added: “Once upon a time I was an apprentice myself, so I know how much of a difference they can make to a business and how invaluable they really can be. But to now be held up by my peers on this list of UK influencers in the industry, it really drives it home how important it is to invest in our workforce, because they may be our leaders and industry influencers one day.”

The full influencers list can be found at http://www.prw.com/article/20160614/PRW/160619939/prw-unveils-its-most-influential-people-in-the-uk-plastics-industry

For more information on Nifco UK, visit www.nifcoeu.com