Andy Walker from Aerospace Lancashire

Andy Walker from Aerospace Lancashire

Research highlights Lancashire’s position within UK aerospace sector

Lancashire reinforced its position as the UK’s biggest region for aerospace activity at last month’s Paris Airshow, as a new report confirms the county employs more people within the sector than any other in the UK.

The international expo, which ran from June 19-25, was attended by representatives of Aerospace Lancashire, the joint initiative between the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Lancashire County Council (LCC) which launched at the Farnborough International Airshow last year.

Part of the North West Aerospace Alliance (NWAA) delegation, Aerospace Lancashire had its own exhibition stand which showcased the county’s world-class aerospace businesses, assets and infrastructure dedicated to aerospace R&D, manufacturing and servicing. 

This included the Samlesbury Enterprise Zone site, part of the new Lancashire Advanced Manufacturing and Energy Enterprise Zone cluster, which has been designated a dedicated aerospace hub. Samlesbury is also the location of the BAE’s UK manufacturing base which includes its hi-tech aerospace training facility, the Academy for Skills & Knowledge.

Another key part of Aerospace Lancashire’s trade mission was sharing the findings of a new report, produced by the NWAA, into the size, diversity and growth potential of Lancashire’s aerospace economy.

Lancashire: Number One For Aerospace Jobs is a 28-page report that analysed local, regional, national and global aerospace markets and assessed Lancashire’s current and future growth opportunities within the sector. 

It found that not only was Lancashire still the UK’s number one region for Aerospace employment, with around 17,000 directly employed in the sector, it is the only place in the UK to have the skills, resources and capacity for the end-to-end manufacturing and servicing of a complete aircraft for its entire life-cycle.

The research also highlighted that Lancashire has enjoyed substantial private sector investment, totalling around £300m, into aerospace and related facilities in recent years.

This level of investment, combined with the multi-million pounds of public money secured by the LEP through three rounds of Growth Deal funding to support aerospace activities, means Lancashire has the resources and infrastructure to sustain growth within the aerospace and AEM sectors for many years to come.   

It has been calculated that around 500 firms in Lancashire directly supply the county’s aerospace sector, with many of these working within specialist manufacturing areas such as precision components, advanced surface treatments, and the assembly of engine sub-systems.

Andy Walker, from the Aerospace Lancashire delegation, said: “As this report has highlighted, Lancashire remains the UK’s biggest aerospace employer and supports tens of thousands of high skilled jobs both directly and through its supply chain.”

David Bailey, chief executive of the NWAA, said: “Our new report suggests that the global economic outlook for the aerospace sector remains very positive, with Lancashire in a great position to build upon its status as the UK’s leading region for aerospace jobs. The fact that Lancashire has a complete end-to-end capability to design, build and maintain an entire fixed-wing aircraft provides for a fantastic range of business and employment opportunities.”