Can aerospace lift economy?

The Society of British Aerospace Companies (SBAC) has welcomed the government’s focus on the aerospace industry as a key player in the recovery of the UK economy.

The announcement follows yesterday’s visit by Gordon Brown to Rolls-Royce’s Derby facilities and a meeting held between Alex Dorrian and Ian Godden from SBAC and Lord Mandelson, which focused on maintaining the strong position of the UK in the global aerospace industry.

The UK currently has a 17 per cent global market share in civil aerospace and a 33 per cent global market share in defence, as well as a large supply chain that contains many thousands of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The government’s Manufacturing Strategy has identified the sector as ‘a key area of British manufacturing strength’, with a turnover of over £20bn, providing support to over 110,000 direct employees.

Ian Godden, SBAC chief executive, said: ‘The government is right to focus on a mixed economy in which manufacturing and engineering play a major role.

‘Aerospace is a success story for the UK, and we are pleased that this is being recognised in both words and actions by the Prime Minister and the Business Secretary.

‘Our industry delivers many thousands of highly-skilled jobs across all regions of the country, and we are confident that we can play a full role in driving the UK’s economic recovery.

‘Following our meeting with Lord Mandelson and the Prime Minister’s visit to Rolls-Royce, we know that the Government shares our vision.’