Home Appointments & Contracts Award-winning business leader appointed non-exec director at North East engineering company

Award-winning business leader appointed non-exec director at North East engineering company

left to right Andrew Howe, Operations Director, Andrew Esson and Tony Renwick, Production Director

An award-winning North East industrialist, who has achieved regional and national recognition for his leadership of manufacturing businesses, has been appointed as a non-executive director at Turnmill Engineering.

Andrew Esson will bring both extensive expertise and passion to help Turnmill, based at Washington Business Centre on Wearside, further grow and prosper.

Turnmill, which is a member of NOF, the UK business development organisation for the energy sectors, manufactures consumables, jigs and fixtures and machine components predominantly for automotive, pharmaceuticals, motorsport and construction businesses.
It also helps companies and individuals develop concepts and prototypes, bring new products to market and improve production processes.
Andrew, who throughout his career has won a clutch of prestigious awards, has a portfolio of non-executive and advisory roles and through his business Esson Partnership Limited, works tirelessly to help businesses grow and develop in his adopted North East, and beyond.

A chartered engineer, Andrew, who has amassed an inimitable blend of corporate and SME experience, became the youngest ever director of a Weir Group company, with his appointment in 1996 as production director at Hopkinsons Limited in Huddersfield.


Eight years later, Andrew took on his first managing director’s role at Ashington-based ContiTech Beattie. Under his stewardship, ContiTech Beattie achieved a variety of business accolades, including Investors in People Champion status, triple success at the Institution of Mechanical Engineer’s Manufacturing Excellence (MX) Awards, and a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade.

His personal accolades have included:

  • Winning the Institute of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland’s Gold Medal for Engineering in 1996.
  • Being crowned the 2010 Business Executive of the Year for Northumberland and Tyneside.
  • Insider North East Deal Maker’s Entrepreneur of the Year 2012.
  • An Entrepreneurs’ Forum Entrepreneur of the Year finalist in 2014.

Andrew moved out of the corporate world in 2011, acquiring a small specialist hydraulics business, Quick Hydraulics, via a Management Buy-In.

Having sold his business in 2015, and after 20 years as a business executive/entrepreneur, Andrew took the opportunity to move onto the third phase of his career, to help companies grow and prosper as a non-exec, consultant and advisor.

Andrew said: “I relish new challenges and really enjoy working with growing and ambitious businesses such as Turnmill.

“I am looking forward to using my knowledge and expertise to help optimise opportunities and prospects at the company.”

Andrew Howe, Turnmill co-founder and operations director, said: “Andrew has forged an outstanding track record as a business leader, entrepreneur and business adviser, which is reflected by the swathe of high-status awards he has won during his impressive career.

In his capacity as a non-executive director, Andrew will bring a wealth of expertise and knowledge to help propel Turnmill to the next level in its development and growth.”

Joanne Leng MBE, chief executive of NOF, said: “Andrew is a highly respected business executive both regionally and nationally.

““This included him supporting the offshore and renewables sectors as a board member of NOF for ten years, and more recently leading the Energi Coast Skills Group.”

“A well-connected and committed professional with an exceptionally strong skills set and knowledge, he will be a tremendous asset to Turnmill.”