The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Aerospace company Slingsby Advanced Composites
announces new operation in Prestwick


By: Murdoch MacDonald

SLINGSBY Advanced Composites has announced plans for expansion to its design, manufacturing and marketing operations for structural composite and metal structures for the defence, aerospace, marine and rail industries by opening a new facility in Prestwick, Ayrshire, Scotland. Driven by the increased demand for commercial and consumer air travel boosting aircraft production worldwide, Slingsby intends to seize this opportunity to further develop its already expanding aerospace portfolio.


Advanced composite materials such as carbon and glass fibre enable air frames to be lighter, stronger, more cost effective and kinder to the environment than equivalent metal airframes. Demand for composite fuselage airliners, such as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner (pictured above) has increased by 15% in the last year.

Managing director Steven Boyd, a former apprentice of British Aerospace, Prestwick said: “It’s an exciting time for Slingsby as we embark on a venture that will not only complement, but enhance technology in the local community. Having spent over ten years working for BAe, it is testimony to the skill set, reputation for innovation and capabilities of the people in the area that we as a company chose Ayrshire.”

Finance director Stuart Brown added: “We are growing as a business and strengthening our market position. Many new projects are under discussion with current customers, and we anticipate them coming to fruition in the not too distant future. Hence it will necessitate the need for skilled people across many disciplines. The expansion will create 28 new jobs at the company’s Prestwick base, and the new investment is being supported by a Regional Selective Assistance grant of £250K.”

Announcing the support, Enterprise Minister Jim Mather MSP said: “Slingsby’s plan to invest in this new facility at Prestwick brings welcome jobs to the area and demonstrates Scotland’s clear strengths in the manufacturing industry sector.

“Having had another lengthy dialogue with the aerospace sector again this week, it is encouraging to have a company aiming to strengthen Scotland’s aerospace engineering portfolio, which will undoubtedly contribute to achieving increased sustainable economic growth.”

Scottish Enterprise chief operating officer Lena Wilson said: “This announcement is tremendous news for Prestwick, and will bolster Scotland’s excellent reputation in the global aerospace industry.

“Build rates for civil aircraft are accelerating, and new types of aircraft are regularly being introduced, with the amount of composites used increasing rapidly. We should be proud that aircraft that will be flying throughout the world in years to come will have ‘made in Scotland’ stamped on their airframes.”

Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire is also supporting the company’s plans with a £350k Training Plus grant. The training programme, which will last until 2010, is to develop the composite manufacturing skills of the new employees the company will recruit.

Scottish Enterprise aerospace and defence team leader Jan Reid said: “The Scottish workforce is already recognised by the aerospace industry for its flexibility and adaptability to develop new skills, and composite materials technology presents a great opportunity for Scotland to build its expertise in this globally important sector.

“The technology also draws on a number of strengths in Scotland including our chemicals and textiles industries, and we are working to embed composite skills in Scotland, which will have an impact across Scotland.”

About Slingsby Advanced Composites

Slingsby Advanced Composites, founded in 1939, employs 120 people at its Kirkbymoorside, North Yorkshire facility. A leading company in the design, development, manufacture and support of Advanced Composites structures and assemblies for aerospace and defence systems across air, land and sea platforms, Slingsby specialises in Unmanned Airframe Vehicle aerostructures, Fixed and Rotary Wing Helmets, Civil Aerospace Aerostructures, Emergency Door Systems and Stealthy Structures for Naval Defence applications.

www.slingsby.co.uk

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