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Sell-out Oktoberfest described as ‘best yet’
A SHOWCASE event for manufacturing and engineering companies was a sell-out and has been described as the best yet by organisers.
The County Durham Oktoberfest has become the largest such event in the region.
This year’s Oktoberfest, held at the Xcel Centre, in Newton Aycliffe, saw more than 1,100 visitors register to attend and well in excess of 100 exhibition stands.
The event included an update on the Hitachi Rail project, which is taking shape in Newton Aycliffe, as well as an opening address from entrepreneur Dr Arnab Basu, of County Durham-based Kromek.
There was also a chance to Meet the Buyer – a section of the event where companies and potential customers are able to discuss their potential needs.
Exhibitors included Tallent Automative, Husqvarna, Ebac and Nissan, along with the likes of Tees Valley Unlimited, the North East Chamber of Commerce and UK Trade and Investment.
The education sector was also well represented with Durham University, and Teesside University joining Hartlepool College of Further Education, Bishop Auckland College, Darlington College and Redcar and Cleveland College.
John Lyle, from the Derwentside Engineering Forum, part of the Oktoberfest organising team, said: “With more than 1,100 visitors registered this has been our most successful Oktoberfest to date.
“We are delighted to see exhibitors and visitors networking and creating contacts which will, hopefully, lead to some exciting business opportunities.”
Richard Toner, a commercial manager at Elddis Transport, a family-owned hauliers based in Consett, said: “This is our first time exhibiting at Oktoberfest.
It’s been an extremely well organised event and very well attended.
“We’ve made a number of contacts which we’ll be following up.
“Events like this just go to show that the North-East is a really great place to do business.”
Councillor Neil Foster, cabinet member for economic regeneration at Durham County Council, who welcomed visitors to the event, said: “I’m delighted to see that Oktoberfest has been a resounding success yet again.
“It is fast becoming the must-attend event for manufacturing and engineering companies to showcase the quality of their work and to meet each other, as well as potential buyers.
“I was particularly thrilled to see Hitachi Rail Europe here with such a large team of people.
“I know that it has been busy meeting potential suppliers from the region all day which cements the company’s importance to the county.”
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