Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne joined Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Tom Williams CBE to announce a £37 million investment in a new Wing Integration Centre at the Airbus site in Filton, Bristol.
The new facility will be an advanced testing centre for large structural components. It will enable Airbus and its partners to develop new and cutting edge ideas, helping underpin the UK as one of the world’s leading aerospace sectors.
The project is receiving funding from the joint industry and government aerospace R&D funding programme, delivered as a partnership between the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, the Aerospace Technology Institute and Innovate UK. When it opens in 2017, it will house around 300 highly skilled engineers who will develop and test aerospace technology.
Chancellor George Osborne said: “When it comes to aerospace design Britain is the innovator of Europe and I want to see us going even further and becoming the global leader. That is why we are committing £37m for a new cutting edge research facility right here in the heart of the South West.
“Not only will the new research centre play home to some of the most exciting innovations in aerospace, for years to come it will also protect hundreds of highly skilled jobs.”
Tom Williams said: “I would like to thank the Chancellor for visiting Filton today and making this vitally important announcement for the UK and Airbus.
“It is crucial we take the lead in developing new technology and this facility will help to shape the future of air travel for decades to come. This joint investment is a further boost to the Airbus site at Filton which is the global leader in design and testing of wings, fuel systems, and landing gear.”
“This new centre is vitally important for the UK as it secures a future wing capability for the country,” said Gary Elliott, CEO of the Aerospace Technology Institute. “As well as being a state-of-the-art test facility, this will act as a centre of excellence for the UK’s engineers who work on wing design and integration.”
Filton has seen significant investment in new facilities, most recently the £70 million Aerospace Park as well as other ATI-funded research projects into future technologies. A further £100 million has been invested in facilities to test aircraft systems on the Filton site.