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New £22 million Spirit Aerosystems factory to create 100 jobs in Ayrshire



A new £22 million Spirit AeroSystems factory where Airbus parts will be built in Ayrshire has been opened by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

The facility in Prestwick will make components for spoilers on the wings of the Airbus A320 aircraft, using a new, lightweight composite material technology on a commercial aircraft for the first time in the UK. The factory is expected to create more than 100 jobs. Spirit already employs around 1000 people at its existing plant there.

Stugeon said: “Spirit AeroSystems exemplifies how investment in research and development drives innovation and creates high-quality jobs. Today’s opening provides Prestwick with a world-class composite manufacturing facility and increases Spirit’s ability to secure additional work on the next generation of greener aircraft.

“It is a tribute to the vision, expertise and hard work of everyone working at Spirit and a significant day for Ayrshire and Scottish manufacturing. Our vision is for a Scotland where innovation is an intrinsic part of the economy and culture. The Scottish Government has set ambitious targets for growing business expenditure on research and development to ensure we are ready to meet the global challenges ahead.”

The automation technology being used to produce the aeroplane parts has been taken into full production by Spirit AeroSystems, helped by £2.1 million of funding from Scottish Enterprise.

Scott McLarty, Spirit’s senior vice-president of Airbus programmes, said: “This is the result of a three-year journey to secure production of the spoiler in the UK.

“We appreciate the investment support provided by the Scottish Government, allowing us to better meet the needs of our customers with our technology, design, engineering and manufacturing expertise.”

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David Leven, head of high-value manufacturing at Scottish Enterprise, added: “A healthy and innovative manufacturing sector is critical for the success of Scotland’s economy and we welcome this news from Spirit AeroSystems.

“We know investment in R&D can unlock new products and markets for manufacturers, which leads to the creation of quality jobs in communities like Ayrshire and further across Scotland.

“This new facility opened by the First Minister is evidence of why Scotland holds an enviable position as a global centre of advanced manufacturing excellence.”

A further grant of £4.8 million has been awarded by Scottish Enterprise for the company’s new £28 million Aerospace Innovation Centre, which is due to open at the Prestwick site later this year.

The centre will focus on the technology and expertise required to help Airbus develop wings that are “faster, easier and cheaper to make and assemble”.

The Scottish Government’s figures indicate the aerospace sector in Scotland had a turnover of £2.3 billion in 2017 and 5,250 employees, with Prestwick and the surrounding area home to 50% of the country’s aerospace industry.



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