Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announces creation of multi-billion pound UK AerospaceTechnology Institute during Filton visit
A MULTI-billion investment to "anchor" Britain as a global leader in the aerospace industry has been announced by the Deputy Prime Minister during a visit to Airbus in Filton.
Nick Clegg revealed on Monday the creation of a new £2 billion UK Aerospace Technology Institute, made up of top manufacturing and engineering firms, to ensure the country remains at the forefront of technological advances on the world stage.
The coalition will contribute £1 billion towards the scheme over the next seven years while companies including Airbus and Rolls Royce, will provide the rest.
The move will help secure thousands of jobs in the Bristol and South Gloucestershire areas, which have been leaders in the aviation sector for decades.
Mr Clegg told local politicians and Airbus staff at the manufacturer’s headquarters in Filton that the government was determined to support the country's aerospace industry.
"Aerospace experts with highly specialised skills are working hard to make sure the UK remains Europe's number one aerospace manufacturer," he said.
"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."
He added: "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."
Several major firms will form the UK Aerospace Technology Institute, including Airbus and Rolls Royce, GKN Aerospace, which will be based in Derby.
Airbus alone will invest £350 million in the institute over the next seven years.
The centre will work towards developing quieter and more energy-efficient planes. Its creation will help secure around 115,000 industry jobs nationwide.
Prior to Mr Clegg’s visit, Business Secretary Vince Cable had said the seven-year commitment would "anchor the sector in the UK for a long time to come".
"Our aerospace sector already supports more than 3,000 companies and employs 230,000 people across the UK," he said. "The potential for growth is huge. By 2031 the civil aerospace market will be worth in excess of 4.5 trillion US dollars."
Airbus executive vice president for programmes Tom Williams welcomed the Deputy Prime Minister’s announcement.
He said: "The decision to invest in the Aerospace Technology Institute clearly demonstrates the government's understanding of the needs of the industry and its willingness to work with aerospace in the formulation of industrial policy.
"Such forward thinking is vital and will help provide the cutting edge technological advances that are so vital to the future success of our industry - helping keep the UK at the forefront of global aerospace, promoting long term growth and high value employment."