Italian visit sparks aerospace investment hopes

Leading Italian companies have visited the Lancashire Enterprise Zone at Samlesbury in a move which could lead to new jobs and growth in the county.

Wednesday, 20th April 2016, 3:09 pm
Updated Friday, 22nd April 2016, 3:45 pm
BAE Samlesbury aerial pic

A high-level delegation from a number of Italian firms and organisations which between them account for billions of pounds of aerospace business, thousands of jobs and operate across the globe toured the Lancashire EZ.

The delegation, representing Italian aerospace companies and organisations such as Campania Aerospace and Torino Piemonte Aerospace, could invest in the Lancashire EZ and are also looking at opportunities to supply Lancashire aerospace companies.

Arranged by the UK Trade and Investment’s Northern Powerhouse office, the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership hosted the visit.

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Edwin Booth, chairman of the Lancashire LEP said: “This is a significant visit from international aerospace firms which could bring substantial benefits to Lancashire in terms of job creation and economic growth.

“The Italian delegation are interested in the world-class aerospace and advanced manufacturing cluster we have in Lancashire and the excellent facilities at the Lancashire EZ such as the Wincanton facility. The visit follows the recent announcement that Lancashire and the Sheffield City Region have been selected for one of the UK’s first Science and Innovation Audits to identify investment opportunities and enhance research innovation and infrastructure across the Advanced Manufacturing Corridor between Lancashire across to Sheffield.

“It is clear that Lancashire’s reputation as number one for aerospace in the UK is building internationally and that the LEP’s strategy of attracting interest and investment in aerospace and advanced manufacturing is working.”

Lancashire has the single largest concentration of aerospace production in the UK, employing over 12,700 people, and is part of a wider world class regional cluster accounting for more than a quarter of national production. Major employers in this sector include BAE Systems, Rolls Royce and Aircelle.

The Italian aerospace industry is the third largest in Europe.