Thanks to outgoing NEAA Trade Group Chair – Colin Simpson

The NEAA and members of the Trade Group would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to Colin Simpson for his exceptional service as Chair of the group over the past two and a half years.

His leadership has been invaluable, ensuring the group’s continued success and coordinating a collaborative environment conducive to growth and innovation.

Colin stepped into the role of Chair with remarkable ease, providing a steady hand and a voice of reason during a critical transition period. When Joe Routledge took over the working group from previous leads and Chairs Chris Black and Rohan Kohli, Colin’s guidance was instrumental in ensuring a smooth handover. His ability to bridge the gap between the outgoing and incoming teams ensured that the group’s momentum was not only maintained but enhanced.

Colin’s career journey began in 1994 when he joined Tomlinson Hall in Area Sales. Over the years, he has become an integral part of the company’s growth, working his way up to the position of Business Development Director. His contributions to Tomlinson Hall have been significant, helping to expand the company’s market presence and driving strategic initiatives that have solidified its reputation in the industry.

One of Colin’s most notable achievements has been his advocacy for international trade. Recognising the importance of global markets for regional businesses, Colin has dedicated his time and expertise to supporting the Department for Business and Trade (DBT) and other local initiatives aimed at increasing international exposure for North East businesses. His efforts have not only benefited Tomlinson Hall but have also had a far-reaching impact on the wider business community in the North East and were a fundamental reason for his NEAA Trade Group chairmanship.

As the NEAA Trade Group looks to the future, the search for a new Chair is now underway. The group is confident that it will continue to thrive and build on the solid foundation laid by Colin. The process of finding a new Chair is expected to conclude soon, with an announcement anticipated in the near future.

In the meantime, the group remains committed to supporting local businesses, sharing best practice, fostering international trade, and promoting the North East as a hub of automotive excellence.

The NEAA Trade Group will hold its next meeting at the end of June when the HM Trade Commissioner for Latin America will visit and host a roundtable discussion with member companies. This meeting will also serve as an opportunity to reflect on recent achievements, discuss ongoing projects, and outline the group’s strategic priorities moving forward. Members are looking forward to welcoming a new Chair who will bring fresh perspectives and continue to drive the group’s mission.

The NEAA extends its best wishes to Colin in his future endeavours and looks forward to continuing the work he has championed with a new Chair at the helm.

If any member companies would like to get involved in the NEAA Trade Group activity, please get in touch with NEAA Lead and Membership Manager, Joe Routledge on