Business leaders welcome £60m investment in new aerospace facilities

THE creation of two new advanced manufacturing facilities at Ansty Park as part of a £60m investment into the region’s aerospace industry have been welcomed by business leaders in Coventry and Warwickshire.

Confirmation of the new High Temperature Research Centre and a national centre for additive manufacturing – or 3D printing to be build next to the Manufacturing Technology Centre was made by Chancellor George Osborne during a visit to the facility.

It is thought the new facilities will create hundreds of new jobs for the area.

Mr Osborne said the future of the British aerospace industry lay with the development of cutting edge technology and the government had a duty to support the businesses operating in the sector by helping them access “the best science and technology that our universities and research institutes are developing”.

He announced that the government would be providing £30m of new funding – matched by another £30m from industry – for the development of the new aerospace technology centre.

“We are already the best in Europe for aerospace and with this investment we can do even better,” he said.

“The dedicated new facility created here will allow companies to develop new technologies, like using carbon fibre in jet engines, planes and helicopters, which will be exported around the world.

“It’s just part of £2bn which will be invested by government and industry in this sector, through the Aerospace Technology Institute.”

Sir Peter Rigby, chair of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership – and an aerospace entrepreneur, said: “This investment again underlines that Coventry and Warwickshire is at the forefront of advanced manufacturing and engineering, and it is greatly welcomed.
“The two investments from Government are designed to help companies keep pushing the boundaries of advanced manufacturing, and they will leverage in further match investment from the private sector.
“Coventry and Warwickshire companies in many sectors are involved in cutting-edge technology, research and development which supports manufacturing, not only in our area but across the UK and internationally. We have a great reputation for this kind of work, but it is imperative that we help companies continue driving forward.”
Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, echoed the comments saying they underlined the high-tech manufacturing and technology facilities available in the area.

“The site at Ansty was earmarked for these sort of ground-breaking, sophisticated industries and it would have been easy, through the tough economic climate, to relax the criteria there,” she said.

“But this announcement shows why it was so important to hold out for the right kind of use for the site and it is extremely exciting that public and private finance is coming together in this way to invest in state-of-the-art technology.

“We have said for many years now that the UK economy had to be rebalanced back towards manufacturing – particularly advanced engineering and technology – and this announcement reaffirms Coventry and Warwickshire’s place at the heart of that.”