UK aerospace industry given £2bn boost for future

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Media captionNick Clegg: "ATI will provide a long-term plan for success"

A £2bn investment to keep aerospace technology as the UK's "jewel in our crown" has been announced.

Some 115,000 jobs will be secured as the funding, over a seven-year period, is provided by the government and the aerospace industry.

An institute will be created with the money to develop aircraft that are quieter and more energy-efficient.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announced the strategy during a visit to Airbus in Filton, Bristol.

He said: "Aerospace experts with highly specialised skills are working hard to make sure the UK remains Europe's number one aerospace manufacturer.

"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 £2bn into a unique long-term strategy to maintain Britain's position as the centre of aerospace technology.

Greener aircraft

"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 the aerospace division of Rolls Royce, which has its main UK facility in Derby.

Other companies include Messier-Dowty, which has a base in Gloucestershire, Somerset's AgustaWestland, GKN Aerospace in Redditch, Worcestershire, and the ADS group which has its HQ in London and a show centre in Farnborough.

The government is to provide £1bn of the funding with the aerospace industry matching the amount.

Business secretary Vince Cable, who chairs an aerospace business leaders' group, 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 added.

"The potential for growth is huge. By 2031 the civil aerospace market will be worth in excess of 4.5 trillion US dollars."

The government said the "high-tech and high-skill" aerospace industry has 3,000 companies and 230,000 employees in the UK.

It said the industry must respond to opportunities for both a demand for greener aircraft, and a forecast for 27,000 new passenger aircraft and 40,000 commercial helicopters.

Meanwhile, Indonesia's low cost Lion Air has placed its first order with Airbus, asking for 234 A320 family aircraft.

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