BREXIT will remain a source of uncertainty for companies this year but business in the region is buoyant.

That’s the view of County Durham Engineering and Manufacturing Network’s (CDEMN) David Land, who says North-East firms’ willingness to embrace innovation is providing a platform for expansion.

Mr Land says companies’ appreciation of new sectors and markets is negating some of the ambiguity around Brexit negotiations, adding CDEMN will continue its role as a growth conduit.

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Mr Land, chairman of CDEMN, which organises the annual Durham Oktoberfest expo in Newton Aycliffe, said: “Generally, business is buoyant with some great success stories from a diverse range of companies.

“Many of the almost 200 businesses we engage directly with are becoming innovators, and by thinking outside the box they are laying the perfect foundation for continuous growth.

“We’ll just have to wait and see on the potential impact of Brexit on local businesses, as, until the deal is done, anything could change.

“However, what is absolutely clear is that we need to ensure the continued external support for our businesses.

“We put people in contact with the right type of support to help their business prosper.”

Mr Land said that backing will continue in 2018, with the organisation’s attentiveness a key factor.

He added: “We will continue to adapt to ensure the support we offer members is to the benefit of not just them but the wider engineering and manufacturing sectors.

“Our biggest strength is that we listen and offer advice, assistance and themed events that members need and want, not what we believe they need and want.”