Press release

Welsh Secretary: New Strategy puts UK at forefront of Aerospace Manufacturing

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The launch of the aerospace industrial strategy will consolidate Wales and the UK’s position at the forefront of world aerospace manufacturing, said the Secretary of State for Wales, David Jones today (14 March).

The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg launched the ambitious vision for a long-term government and aerospace industry partnership at the Airbus site in Bristol today.

The strategy focuses on investment in four key, high value areas of modern aircraft where the UK excels – wings, engines, aerostructures and advanced systems.

Underpinning the strategy is a research and development investment of £2billion over seven years. This will be used in the research and development of new technologies that will help design and manufacture the aircraft of the future. This significant, long term investment will be overseen by a new Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), an Industry led body that will bring a national, single focus to research and facilities in the sector.

Secretary of State for Wales, David Jones said:

“The role that the aerospace industry has to play in the health of the economy locally and nationally cannot be overstated. The Government has been working in close partnership with the UK aerospace sector to help ensure the long-term success of the industry, and I am delighted to see culmination of that work set out in this strategy launched today.

“Wales in particular benefits significantly from the continued investment made by major aerospace companies such as Airbus and GE Aviation.

“In January this year, I had the opportunity to visit Airbus’ Broughton site and was able to see first hand just how much of a contribution the industry makes to the advanced manufacturing sector in the UK.

“The company continues to be one of the most competitive global innovators in the Aerospace and supply chain sector, and sustains and supports thousands of jobs for Welsh workers. Production rates and orders at the plant continue to grow and the Broughton plant plays an integral role in that success.”

The strategy also sets out actions for building UK manufacturing capability, skills and the competitiveness of the supply chain, including a £6 million bursary fund to pay for 500 new graduates and employees to study Masters level degrees in aerospace engineering.

Mr Jones added:

“The launch of this strategy today underlines the Government’s commitment to supporting companies within the aerospace industry in the UK to maintain the success that they have seen so far, and to capitalise on the significant market opportunities available to them.

“Britain is second in the world for aerospace, but we are the leader in Europe. This government will continue to back UK aerospace and encourage further investment in the industry by tackling barriers to growth, boosting exports opportunities and increasing the high value of aerospace jobs in the UK.”


For further information on the announcement, please contact the BIS press office on 020 7215 5945.

The aerospace industrial strategy Lifting Off – Implementing the Strategic Vision for UK Aerospace can be found [here] (

  • The aerospace sector contributes £24 billion to the economy every year, includes 3,000 companies and employs 230,000 workers.

  • The government is committing over £1.6 billion during the next 10 years to back our Industrial Strategy. This includes more than £1bn new money from HM Treasury and more than £500m from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) budget. Working in partnership with business we will aim at least to double this with industry funding. Government funding for the ATI will reach £150 million annually by 2014/15 and will be committed for a seven-year period. Industry is committed to matching this investment.

  • The ATI will consist of a small core team (30-50 staff) mainly seconded from industry and academia. It will provide better alignment between early research (such as that supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) and cross-sectoral R&D innovation delivered through the Technology Strategy Board. Larger scale projects will be delivered through the Technology Strategy Board by collaborative groups from industry and academia. Some projects will be carried out in the High Value Manufacturing Catapult centres, maximising the return on the government’s investment in these facilities.

  • The Aerospace Growth Partnership (AGP) brings industry and government together to tackle barriers to growth, boost exports and grow the number of high value jobs in the UK. The AGP is jointly chaired by Michael Fallon, Minister of State at the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS), and Marcus Bryson, CEO of GKN Aerospace and Vice President of ADS.

  • The government’s industrial strategy is about looking to the future, presenting a long-term, whole of government approach to supporting British business, giving them the confidence they need to invest, hire staff and grow. Long-term strategies are being developed in partnership with industry in key sectors including nuclear, education and the information economy – which will be published in the coming months.