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Aerospace industry gets funding boost

On the first anniversary of the government’s Industrial Strategy, ministers launched a £125 million funding pot to support the manufacturing of ‘Future Flight’ materials and technologies.

The Future Flight Challenge forms part of the Aerospace Sector Deal announced by Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Secretary Greg Clark on 6 December.

The Challenge will provide £125 million for developing next generation aviation, including electric planes with vertical take-off capability, goods and service drones and autonomous aircraft.

The wider deal also includes a further £13.7 million to support supply chain SMEs to boost their competitiveness on the global stage and commercialise new technologies, and a pledge to increase the number of women working in aviation.

It is the government’s sixth sector deal since the launch of the modern Industrial Strategy last year, from construction and automotive to nuclear and the creative industries.

Announcing the latest deal at an event in Bristol, Greg Clark said:

“The UK’s contribution to the global aerospace industry cannot be underestimated. Half of the world’s modern large passenger aircraft have wings designed and built here in the UK; and every 2.5 seconds, a Rolls-Royce powered aircraft takes off or lands.

“But we are not complacent. The future of aerospace is cleaner, greener, and more efficient, and we want the UK to be the pioneers of new technology that will pave the way for increased electrification and autonomy in commercial aviation.”

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