There’s good news for companies involved in the aerospace industry, both nationally and here in the Midlands.
Firstly, the UK government has announced £400m of funding to support the recovery of aerospace sector from the downturn due to coronavirus. The Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) will distribute grants totalling £200m, which will be matched by industry investment.
The universities of Nottingham and Birmingham are involved in a number of funded projects including the development of high-performance engines, ultra-lightweight materials and energy-efficient components.
As well as securing highly-skilled jobs in the sector, business secretary Alok Sharma said that the investment will: “help secure our world-leading position in developing new flight technology to make air travel safer and greener into the future.”
Gary Elliott, chief executive of the ATI, said: “These are challenging but also exciting times for the aerospace sector; we need to help UK companies to recover while also creating new approaches to technology development and innovation.”
A second piece of good news is that the government will also be putting funding into the FlyZero initiative. This project will bring together around 100 experts to design and build a commercially successful zero-emission aircraft that can be manufactured in the UK, thus creating jobs for the future and expanding the UK’s share of the sector.
And finally, the Midlands Aerospace Alliance (MAA) has issued a five-point plan to boost the aerospace supply chain and help local companies survive and recover after the global pandemic. Experts from industry, academia and government were involved in putting together the scheme, which contains a set of guiding principles and over 20 actions designed to help businesses stay afloat until demand starts to pick up. It is hoped that business will be back to pre-COVID-19 levels or growth by 2025.
MAA chief executive, Dr Andrew Mair, said: “Now we have a plan in place, we will be working with key stakeholders to agree the best approach to implementation to ensure the industry, which contributes so much to the UK economy, not only survives the crisis but returns to growth in the future.”
The aerospace industry is a vital part of Sandwell’s economy, and we wish every company involved a quick recovery from the current global down turn. To find out how we can help your business bounce back, visit our coronavirus support pages.