Lancashire's aerospace sector's 'extremely positive' presence at the Paris Air Show

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The flag was flown for the county’s crucial aerospace sector at one of the biggest air shows in the world.

Aerospace Lancashire, the partnership between the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, Lancashire County Council and hundreds of aerospace businesses, exhibited at the Paris Air Show.

At the Paris Air Show

At the Paris Air Show

The four-day, bi-annual event sees around 2,400 companies exhibiting and welcomes over 320,000 international visitors.

As in previous years, Aerospace Lancashire were part of the North West Aerospace Alliance’s (NWAA) stand. The NWAA, which represents and supports the aerospace industry across the region, has 220 members which account for 25 per cent of the UK aerospace industry. Combined its members have a turnover of over £7bn.

Companies such as BAE Systems, Safran Nacelles, Kaman and MB Aerospace also attended the Paris show. Their presence, alongside Lancashire SMEs who are part of the county’s massive aerospace supply chain, was used by Aerospace Lancashire to demonstrate to investors, employers and policymakers the significance of Lancashire’s world-class aerospace sector.

This included highlighting how the county was still the number one region in the UK for aerospace activity and remains fourth in the world overall. Other major assets currently being brought forward, which will enhance the county’s aerospace offer, were also actively promoted.

These include UCLan’s new £30m Engineering Innovation Centre at Preston and the proposed Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre North West which is set to be sited at the Samlesbury Aerospace Enterprise Zone, both of which have been supported by the LEP’s Growth Deal fund.

Over the course of the Paris show the Aerospace Lancashire team held meetings with government minister Andrew Stephenson from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, representatives from Department of International Trade, and major UK-based aerospace businesses.

They also had talks with more than 25 different companies, delegations and international aerospace clusters who were interested in finding out more about Lancashire’s aerospace sector and potential investment opportunities.

Lancashire County Council’s head of business growth and innovation, Andy Walker, who attended the show, said: “Lancashire’s reputation as one of the world’s most significant aerospace clusters, with major manufacturers based in the county together with hundreds of SMEs in the supply chain, continues to be recognised on a global scale.

“We are still the only place in the UK where an entire aircraft can be produced without leaving the county boundary, and we are still continually investing in skills, technology and business support specifically around aerospace and aviation.”

“The reaction from influential UK government officials, foreign investors and major employers to the Aerospace Lancashire proposition was extremely positive and we look forward to continuing the conversation with these and others on behalf of the whole county going forward.”

David Bailey, chief executive of the NWAA, said: “Lancashire, and the hundreds of businesses within the county which work within the aerospace sector, are key partners for the NWAA. It was therefore fantastic that Aerospace Lancashire were able to join us at Paris this year.

"We were able to introduce the county to a wide range of potential companies and aerospace clusters looking to forge links with the UK and we helped make the case to influential government policymakers both in the UK and abroad.”