Lord Mandelson today announced that the Government has agreed to support Airbus with up to £340 million repayable launch investment for the development of the A350 XWB.
Building on the New Industry, New Jobs agenda as well as our latest advanced manufacturing initiatives announced on 29 July, the support further demonstrates the government’s commitment to the our advanced manufacturing sector, as part of a balanced economy helping to build Britain’s future.
The support, drawn partially from the Government’s £750m Strategic Investment Fund, will enable Airbus in the UK to strengthen its position as a world leader in wing, landing gear and fuel integration systems technologies and ensure the UK plays a leading role in the development of the A350 XWB, as it has done on previous Airbus programmes. This support will create and sustain more than 1,200 jobs within Airbus across Filton and Broughton sites as well over 5,000 within the supply chain across the UK.
Through increased use of advanced composite materials in the construction of the wing and other parts of the aircraft, the A350XWB will be lighter – delivering significant environmental benefits, including around 15% reductions in CO2 emissions - essential to delivering on our low carbon agenda.
Today’s announcement of £340m of support follows on from our commitment to provide £60m of support for GKN to design and develop the rear spar and trailing edge of the A350 XWB.
Business Secretary Lord Mandelson said:
“This agreement is excellent news for the UK aerospace sector and for the thousands of British workers within Airbus and its UK-based supply chain”.
“The UK’s aerospace industry is world-class and capable of competing successfully with companies across the world. We recognise the vital role Airbus, and its supply chain, play in the UK.
“Aerospace is a sector that we are rightly proud of in the UK. It stimulates innovation across industry, demonstrates our capability to work with the most advanced technologies, and provides high-quality, highly skilled employment. It is a sector at the heart of our advanced manufacturing strategy.
“This agreement is further evidence of this government’s long-term commitment to the UK aerospace industry and its future success. Aerospace is one of the UK manufacturing’s crown jewels, and manufacturing is one of the UK economy’s crown jewels.”
Tom Enders, Airbus president and CEO, said:
"We welcome the UK government's decision to invest in the A350 XWB, the most advanced, innovative, and eco-efficient aircraft in its market segment. This partnership with the UK government means that the UK taxpayer can expect a sound return on their investment, and ensure the aviation industry continues to thrive in Europe and around the world."
1. Government investment takes the form of risk-sharing participation in the design and development of specific civil aerospace projects in the UK. The Launch Investment of £340 million is repayable, not a grant, and earns a real rate of return. It is available only to the aerospace sector and stems from the provisions of the Civil Aviation Act 1982.
2. The support is subject to finalising terms and conditions with Airbus.
3. The project was scrutinised by the UK Government, with the assistance of external legal and financial advisers.
4. Airbus employ 10,500 in the UK at Filton, near Bristol, and Broughton in North Wales.
5. Airbus A350 XWB is a family of three large civil aircraft ranging in capacity from 270-350 passengers. It is being supported by four partner nations, UK, France, Germany and Spain. France announced at the Paris Air Show, on June 15, support of EUR 1.4bn for the A350 XWB programme. Germany proposed in principle support of EUR 1.1bn. The Spanish Government are still in discussions with Airbus.
6. Airbus have already sold 493 aircraft to 31 different customers.
7. The UK aerospace industry is the second largest in the world behind the US. The industry employs more than 100,000 people with a turnover of more than £20bn annually. The UK accounts for more than 13% of the total turnover in the world aerospace market. Aerospace exports from the UK were £14.3bn, making it one of the country’s biggest exporting industries. The sector invested £1.8 billion in R&D in 2008.
8. As well as wings, UK has recognised strengths in the assembly of combat aircraft and military helicopters, smart munitions, avionics and sensor systems, landing gears, wheels and brakes, electrical and fuel system design. (ends)