The Department of Trade and Industry’s £22m Carad civil aerospace research and development programme will escape the axe next week. But it is likely to be substantially modified.
The Society of British Aerospace Companies said outright cancellation was unlikely, given last week’s statement by industry minister John Battle that Carad had ‘made a significant contribution, including wider benefits outside aeronautics’.
Among the options for Carad are: reduced funding; a public-private partnership to spread its cost among industry or academic institutions; or the merging of Carad within a wider research initiative.
Details of the decision on Carad’s future are due this month in the DTI’s expenditure report.
Last week MPs signed an early-day motion backing Carad on the grounds that aerospace is Britain’s biggest manufacturing industry and abandoning Carad ‘would cause long-term damage’.
* A new aerospace committee made up of senior industry executives is to advise ministers on strategic issues important to industry, the DTI said this week. The first chairman will be Colin Green, Rolls-Royce Aerospace Group managing director.