Oktoberfest announces 2014 speaker lineup

Posted on 24 Sep 2014 by The Manufacturer

The Durham Oktoberfest has confirmed the speakers who’ll be taking the stage at this year’s event centred on manufacturing and economic regeneration.

After Nifco managing director Mike Matthews was confirmed as a keynote speaker, the region’s biggest engineering and manufacturing event will also see addresses from Cllr Neil Foster, portfolio holder for economic regeneration at Durham Country Council.

Dr Simon Goon, managing director of Business Durham and Paul Watts, joint managing director of clothing manufacturing firm The AMA Group, will also speak at the event at Newton Aycliffe’s Xcel Centre on October 23.

The event is expected to see over 1,500 businesses and delegates attend and will see exhibits from prominent local companies including Hiatco, Dyer Engineering and Johnson Partners.

Mike Matthews
Mike Matthews, managing director of Nifco

Dr Goon, who heads up the organisation overseeing business growth and development in the region, said the event provides a showcase for the North East.

“Durham Oktoberfest is one of the region’s biggest and most high profile events and gives the North East the opportunity to showcase the strength and depth of our world class manufacturing and engineering sectors,” he said.

“It’s the perfect shop window for every company out there that wants to grow and meet potential new clients and that’s why year after year it gets better and more successful.”

Mr Watts of The AMA Group, a company that has created over 200 jobs after reshoring its clothing manufacturing back to East Durham, said there has been a strong response to the company’s announcement.

“The response we’ve had since we announced our plans earlier this year has been phenomenal and now production is underway, we’re receiving enquiries from retailers not only up and down the country but overseas as well,” he said.

“There’s a real appetite to bring manufacturing back to the UK which can only be a good thing for the region’s businesses.”