GKN set to acquire Filton site

Airbus has selected GKN as the preferred bidder for the acquisition of the Filton site, including the award of significant composite work packages for the A350 XWB wing. It is now entering exclusive discussions with Airbus to finalise definitive agreements.



GKN Chief Executive Sir Kevin Smith, said: ‘GKN greatly values its existing relationship with Airbus, which has been built up over 20 years and includes participation in the A320, A330/340, A380 and A400M programmes. We look forward to further strengthening that relationship.



‘Our vision for the Filton site will create a globally competitive UK centre of excellence for the design and manufacture of composite aircraft wing structures. We are confident that with the talented workforce at Filton, their supportive Trade Unions and the UK Government’s continued commitment to high technology manufacturing, our vision will be realised.’



The Society of British Aerospace Companies (SBAC) said it recognises GKN’s commitment to create a globally competitive UK centre of excellence for the design and manufacture of composite aircraft wing structures.



Ian Godden, SBAC chief executive said: ‘This new arrangement gives GKN a major role in the future of the UK aerospace industry and places a significant responsibility on them to maintain and enhance the UK’s role in this highly strategic and global industry.



‘The UK aerospace industry, at all levels of the supply chain, will hope to see a swift conclusion to the commercial negotiations and further detail on future investment plans from both GKN and Airbus.



‘The A350XWB and future single aisle aircraft programmes will define the next generation of civil aerospace technology and capability. The challenges of delivering cleaner, quieter and more fuel efficient aircraft are substantial, but UK industry is ideally placed to play a major part in delivering more sustainable aircraft. This new partnership provides a real opportunity for UK industry and it is important that Government and industry work together to maximise its potential.’