A NEW Filton-based Airbus research and development facility has been granted planning permission by South Gloucestershire Council.

The Airbus Wing Integration Centre, which will be situated at the aviation giant’s Filton site, will house a state of the art research and test facility focusing on the design of new wing technology, 

The building, to be constructed as part of the Airbus ‘Wings of the Future’ programme, will include a main hangar for wing and component testing, as well as new staff facilities, offices and laboratories. 

The development will also provide revised parking and access to the A38.

Plans for the site had been announced in January during a visit by Chancellor George Osborne, who dedicated £37 million to the development, which is expected to open in 2017.

The funds have come from the joint industry and government aerospace research and development funding programme, delivered as a partnership between the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, the Aerospace Technology Institute and Innovate UK.  

Cllr Matthew Riddle, leader of South Gloucestershire Council said: “We are pleased to see Airbus make progress with this development, which will increase their Filton operations and further help to establish our region as a centre of excellence in the aviation industry.

“This represents significant investment, which help to ensure that the north fringe area continues to thrive as a major economic driver, employment area and as a major hub for commercial activity in the South West.”

Mark Stewart, HR director and general manager for Airbus UK said: “The joint investment in this project with the UK Government under ATI will give us the technological edge in a fiercely competitive global business and will benefit not just Airbus sites at Filton and Broughton but wider UK aerospace industry. 

“The new facility once again reinforces the strategic importance of Filton and will enable the best knowledge and skills in aerospace to develop new and cutting edge ideas helping underpin the UK as one of the world’s leading aerospace sectors.”