Government urged to ‘help aerospace industry thrive’ in Lancashire

BAE's mighty Eurofighter Typhoon - built and developed on the Fylde Coast
BAE's mighty Eurofighter Typhoon - built and developed on the Fylde Coast
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Council and enterprise chiefs have urged the Government to take action to support Lancashire’s aerospace and advanced manufacturing sector.

Lancashire County Council and the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership have written to the government to encourage further development of the aerospace and advanced manufacturing sector.

The approach follows the recent announcement by BAE Systems that it will reduce staff numbers at its Lancashire operations.

BAE Systems is planning to cut almost 2,000 jobs in its military, maritime and intelligence services to give it “sharper” competitive edge.

The letter to Prime Minister Theresa May from county council leader Geoff Driver, and Lancashire Enterprise Partnership chairman Edwin Booth, has highlighted the strength of the advanced manufacturing sector in the county and asked for specific support to enable its continued development.

Meetings are being arranged with Government officials.

In a personal response, Theresa May wrote that “the Defence Sector is working on a proposal, as part of the Joint Government-Industry Defence Growth Partnership. Given the importance of defence aerospace to Lancashire, I believe it would be worth exploring your ideas with the Defence Growth Partnership to strengthen the advance manufacturing hub in Lancashire as part of their proposal.”

Coun Driver said: “It’s important that we make Lancashire’s voice heard, and look at how we can continue to support, develop and encourage this important sector for the Lancashire economy.

“The expertise of the people in Lancashire who work in this sector is amongst the very best in the world, and we will do what we can to ensure it remains this way.

“It’s vital that we continue to enable this dynamic sector to grow and take up new business opportunities, through investments in new innovation facilities and skills development.

“We’re always talking to the government about key issues that affect the county, and how we can work together .”