Take-off for BAE Systems’ new £12m EZ development

Work has started on British Aerospace’s new £12m asset management facility on Samlesbury’s Enterprise Zone.

It is the third development the defence giant has chosen to site on the zone, which sits next to its planemaking plant.

The new facility will be used to securely store and process BAE Systems’ assets and will take 12 months to complete.

The company says the project will allow easier access and distribution of specialist equipment, parts and tools.

The enterprise zone is already home to two important aerospace facilities – BAE’s £16m Academy for Skills and Knowledge and the £15m Wincanton Defence and Logistics Centre.

It is also the site of the proposed North West Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC).

Samlesbury is one of four enterprise zones (EZ) in the Lancashire Advanced Manufacturing and Energy Cluster looking to create more than 10,000 new high value jobs.

Representatives from the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Lancashire County Council (LCC) and BAE Systems attended a ground-breaking ceremony on the site.

LEP director Miranda Barker said: “This new facility marks another significant investment in the Samlesbury Aerospace EZ, which is home to a growing number of top-class, high-tech facilities.

We're opening up this site to create high-quality jobs, bring economic growth and support our world-class advanced manufacturing sector.

“Adding to Lancashire’s key sector focus spanning automotive, energy and as the world’s fourth largest aerospace cluster, the continued investment by BAE and across the Enterprise Zone further stimulates investment in and by our multi-layered supply chain of local SMES, the existence of which drives the global success of the economy for us all.”

Dave Holmes, director of manufacturing at BAE Systems, said: “We look forward to welcoming further aerospace and advanced manufacturing business to the EZ as it develops further.”

Stephen Young, Lancashire County Council’s executive director of growth, environment, transport and community services, added: “By working with BAE Systems and the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, we're opening up this site to create high-quality jobs, bring economic growth and support our world-class advanced manufacturing sector.”

At the end of last year, the LEP completed £11m of infrastructure works at the EZ, which include a new spine road, two new access points and ecology and drainage works.