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Northern Automotive Alliance Awards recognise the achievements of companies during the pandemic

Wynne Aviation Services, a company that provided life-saving logistics solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic, has won the title of ‘Company of the Year’ at the 2021 Northern Automotive Alliance (NAA) Awards. The event took place in Cheshire on 23 September and showcased the successes of vehicle manufacturers, supply chain companies and service providers in the region.

Wynne Aviation Services Limited is a third-generation family-run freight and logistics business based at Liverpool John Lennon Airport. The judges for the NAA Company of the Year Award were impressed by the way that Wynne Aviation took over the transit shed at Liverpool John Lennon Airport and combined the five separate elements of aircraft handling, bonded warehousing, security screening, a customs agent and final mile delivery into one integrated service. Due to the success of this business model, the company has expanded its operations to the Isle of Man Airport.

The company also provided a lifeline during the COVID-19 pandemic by expediting urgent medical and PPE supplies to organisations around the country.

Despite the airport almost being brought to a close due to the COVID-19 lockdown, Wynne Aviation’s Cargoport at Liverpool Airport is now the fastest growing cargo facility in the UK.

The company has also submitted plans to become the first fully electric aircraft handling agent in the UK, using all electric equipment on airside operations.

Wynne Aviation Services also won the Logistics Excellence Award. During the Brexit transition in January 2021, Wynne Aviation was able to help keep the Automotive supply chain moving by handling almost 200,000 kilos from over 200 aircraft movements.

In total, six leading companies from the region became NAA Award winners, in the following categories:

Design & Innovation Award

Sponsored by Klarius Products

Winner: Spark EV Technology

Spark EV Technology develops and supplies personalised range prediction software for electric vehicles. The judges were impressed by the advanced progress in addressing range anxiety, which is seen as a barrier to mass EV adoption.

International Trade Award

Sponsored by Amann Threads UK

Winner: Force Technology

Force Technology specialises in the high precision, high duty spring markets. Judges were impressed by this company’s significant progression from a start-up in 2015, particularly the large growth in exports despite the challenges of Covid and Brexit.

Logistics Excellence Award

Sponsored by DHL Supply Chain

Winner: Wynne Aviation Services

Wynne Aviation Services provided the ability to flex between road and air freight based on demand, providing vital PPE lifeline support during the pandemic.

People & Skills Award

Sponsored by Morson Group

Winner: MGS Technical Plastics

MGS Technical Plastics specialises in fully automated injection moulding. The company has implemented a ‘Plan on a Page’ for all employees.

Manufacturing Excellence Award

Sponsored by Jaguar Land Rover

Winner: Sanko Gosei UK

Sanko Gosei provides a plastic injection moulding solution from R&D to production. The judges were impressed by the company’s strategy to create a culture of continuous improvement.

Corporate & Social Responsibility Award

Sponsored by GEFCO

Winner: The Blair Project

e-motorsport STEM education provider, The Blair Project, is developing the Manchester Innovation Activities Hub, a new £4 million industrialisation and skills training centre.

Company of the Year Award

Sponsored by Bentley Motors

Winner: Wynne Aviation Services

As well as improving processes and achieving impressive growth, Wynne Aviation demonstrated an agile and innovative approach to expediting urgent medical and PPE supplies to organisations around the country.

The keynote speaker for the 2021 Northern Automotive Alliance Awards was Michael Straughan, Chief Operating Officer, Aston Martin Lagonda. Michael talked about his career in the automotive industry and how everything changed when Dieselgate hit the news in 2015, paving the way for an electric future.

Paul Jones, NAA Chief Executive, commented: “It’s an understatement to say that this has been a challenging year for companies in the automotive industry, however all our Award winners have demonstrated an incredible resilience and have managed to thrive despite the various uncertainties of the business environment. Once again, the diversity of automotive companies in the Northern region has been showcased by our Award winners.”

Wes Jacklin, Chairman of Directors and Advisory Board, Northern Automotive Alliance, added: “The companies that entered the 2021 NAA Awards should all feel proud of their achievements during a period of challenges on multiple fronts. The NAA itself has also been effective in providing support to regional businesses during these unprecedented times. Moving forward, the Northern industry will be playing its part in addressing the next set of challenges, including the accelerating pace of the transition to electric vehicles, when the NAA can help to facilitate collaboration between different organisations to benefit from such opportunities.”

The Northern Automotive Alliance is an independent, not-for-profit company which provides a membership service to the automotive community, supporting micro-companies through to the locally-based global vehicle manufacturers. The NAA helps to support and nurture supply chain companies to grow into larger businesses, in order to strengthen the upstream supply chain in the UK.

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