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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Gibson MSP

Spirit AeroSystems Europe to create over 100 new jobs at Prestwick

The news was announced by Nicola Sturgeon on a visit to Spirit AeroSystems after it secured a new contract to produce carbon wing components for the Airbus A320 aircraft.

Spirit AeroSystems Europe is to create more than 100 new jobs at its site in Prestwick after securing a new contract to produce carbon wing components for the Airbus A320 aircraft.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the deal on a visit to Spirit AeroSystems Europe's site and outlined an extra £45 million of funding support for innovation as part of a wider plan to boost jobs and growth.

This new funding is expected to unlock an additional £270 million in private sector research and development (R&D) expenditure.

Scottish Enterprise provided £2.1 million in R&D support to Spirit, which invested £18 million, enabling it to advanced manufacturing technology and to secure the new contract Airbus contract.

Spirit will produce the ‘spoiler’ wing component for the Airbus A320 aircraft which controls lift.

Scott McLarty, vice president and general manager of Spirit UK and Malaysia, said:

“We are pleased that this innovative technology development brings not only improved quality and savings to our customer, but also secures an additional work stream. This opportunity leverages our technology, design and manufacturing expertise to better support the needs of our customers and significantly strengthens our ability to secure future work.”

The First Minister also outlined plans to increase SNP Government funding to businesses undertaking new R&D projects by 70%, from £22 million at present to £37 million, with an additional £45 million to also be invested in innovation over the next three years.

The SNP Government will also outline in the coming weeks, further commitments aimed at capitalising on economic opportunities, including extra support to the advanced manufacturing, energy and financial technology sectors, support for graduate entrepreneur and helping companies to access finance.

Ms Sturgeon said:

“I am determined that Scotland leads on the key technological and social changes. I want Scotland to be the inventor and producer of the innovations that shape the future – not just a consumer of them.

“Spirit AeroSystems is an excellent example of a company providing industry-leading expertise and investing in Scotland. It is significant that research and development grant support from Scottish Enterprise has helped the business win this important new Airbus contract.”

Kenneth Gibson MSP added:

“This is great news for Ayrshire, which is at the forefront of technical change. R&D drives innovation, which in turn boosts productivity and economic growth.

“We need to embrace technological innovations and ensure that economic growth is inclusive, so that everyone benefits and has a fair chance to contribute. In the coming weeks the SNP Government will set out further plans for Scotland’s economy and how we can make further progress towards achieving both of these key aims.”

Linda Hanna, managing director of strategy and sectors at Scottish Enterprise, said:

“I am delighted Spirit has won this key project for their Prestwick site. It's a fantastic example of how Scotland’s expertise and capability in aerospace engineering and manufacturing is successfully competing on the global stage.”


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