Lancashire mixes with aerospace's high fliers

A delegation from Lancashire met with senior government officials, major employers and global investors at the Paris Air Show.

And organisers of the delegation to the world’s biggest aviation and aerospace expo said the county’s representatives received an “overwhelmingly positive” response.

The four-day, bi-annual event sees around 2,400 companies exhibiting, welcomes over 320,000 international visitors, and attracts more than 3,000 members of the world’s press.

Aerospace Lancashire was part of the North West Aerospace Alliance’s (NWAA) stand at the show.

The NWAA, which represents and supports the industry across the region, has 220 members, who account for 25 per of the UK sector. Its members have a combined turnover of more than £7bn.

Many of the NWAA’s biggest members are based in Lancashire, and companies such as BAE Systems, Safran Nacelles, Kaman and MB Aerospace also attended the Paris show.

Aerospace Lancashire said it had used their presence, alongside SMEs who are part of the county’s supply chain, to demonstrate to investors, employers and policymakers the continuing significance of the industry in the county and its world-class credentials.

The reaction to the Aerospace Lancashire proposition was extremely positive.

And they reinforced the message that Lancashire is still the number one region in the UK for aerospace activity and fourth in the world.

The delegation also highlighted the county’s major assets, including the University of Central Lancashire’s new £30m Engineering Innovation Centre in Preston and the proposed Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre North West (AMRC NW) planned for Samlesbury Aerospace Enterprise Zone.

The Aerospace Lancashire team held meetings with government minister Andrew Stephenson from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), representatives from Department of International Trade (DIT), and major UK-based aerospace businesses.

They also had talks with over 25 different companies, delegations and international aerospace clusters interested in finding out more about Lancashire’s aerospace sector and potential investment opportunities.

Lancashire County Council’s head of business growth and innovation, Andy Walker, who attended the show, said: “The reaction from influential UK government officials, foreign investors and major employers to the Aerospace Lancashire proposition was extremely positive.

“We look forward to continuing the conversation with these and others on behalf of the whole county going forward.”

David Bailey, chief executive of the NWAA, added: “We were able to introduce the county to a wide range of potential companies and aerospace clusters looking to forge links with the UK and we helped make the case for Lancashire, and the wider North West, to influential government policymakers both in the UK and abroad.”