THREE Teesside engineering companies will launch a network event to help small businesses and strengthen the region's sector supply chain.

Francis Brown Ltd, Industrial and Marine Hydraulics Ltd and Axiom Engineering Associates Ltd will work with the engineering supply chain in the North-East to keep members aware of business opportunities.

The trio, who have formed the Teesside Engineering Network (TEN) is holding a free event on Friday, February 15 in Preston Hall, in Stockton, featuring speakers from Stockton-based AKER Drilling Solutions and Air Products.

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The event starts at 8am, and TEN plans to host further meetings throughout the year.

Jamie Brown, managing director of Francis Brown Ltd, said: “It is vitally important that small and medium sized businesses know what large capital spend projects and developments are ongoing or coming to the Tees Valley.

“Engineering businesses need to align themselves to bid for contracts and ensure they remain competitive and relevant to the region as it develops and diversifies.

“It is also equally important that the larger companies know what skills and experience they have in the local engineering supply chain because without this, work could unnecessarily slip outside our area.”