A multi-billion investment to “anchor” the UK as a global leader in the aerospace industry was announced by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg during a visit to Airbus in Filton on Monday (18th March).
Mr Clegg used the trip to reveal details of a pledge to create a new £2 billion UK Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) that will develop quieter more energy-efficient aircraft. The Government will pump £1 billion into the centre, while eight aerospace companies including Rolls-Royce, GKN and Airbus have pledged the other half.
The investment is intended to secure 115,000 high value jobs throughout the UK’s aerospace industry and its associated supply chain.
Speaking to Airbus staff, industry leaders and local politicians during his Filton visit, Mr Clegg said:
“Aerospace experts with highly specialised skills are working hard to make sure the UK remains Europe’s number one aerospace manufacturer.”
“We’re doing all we can to maintain this jewel in our crown, which is why government is working hand in hand with industry to inject £2 billion into a unique long term strategy to maintain Britain’s position as the centre of aerospace technology.”
“The UK’s best technical experts can ensure we remain the world’s preferred supplier and continue to build and design the planes of the future – lighter, quieter, faster, and more fuel efficient.”
Marcus Bryson, CEO of GKN Aerospace and Land Systems, and co-chair of the Aerospace Growth Partnership (AGP) said:
“Today’s announcement is the culmination of a lot of hard work from ministers, civil servants, academics, ADS and industry through the AGP. The creation of an Aerospace Technology Institute puts the UK in a strong position to deliver the technologies, skills, capabilities and investment we need to take advantage of the exciting growth opportunities that are forecast for the sector.”
“There is still much to do, but today’s announcement is a significant step forward and there is no doubt that it will help safeguard this valuable sector to the benefit of the nation for decades to come.”
Business Secretary Vince Cable, who chairs an aerospace business leaders’ group, said the seven-year commitment would “anchor the sector in the UK for a long time to come”, adding:
“Our aerospace sector already supports more than 3,000 companies and employs 230,000 people across the UK.”
“The potential for growth is huge. By 2031, the civil aerospace market will be worth in excess of $4.5 trillion.”
Related link: Multi billion pound UK commitment to long-term industrial strategy (GOV.UK)