AW1010 DPM Visits Yeovil
The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg visited AgustaWestland’s Yeovil factory today, during a visit to the South West, to see and be briefed on the company’s activities including new commercial rotorcraft projects that have been selected to be supported by Round 3 of the Government’s Regional Growth Fund.
Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, said: “This Government money is not just a massive boost to AgustaWestland, but to Yeovil and Somerset as a whole.
“I’m delighted to visit AgustaWestland and to see the start of development work that’s getting the go ahead as a result of the government and private sector working hand in hand.
“The Regional Growth Fund is a major financial stimulus for growth in towns and cities across England, creating jobs that will last in the parts of the country that need it most.”
During his visit he met a number of employees and apprentices who are working on new commercial helicopter programmes at Yeovil which are part of AgustaWestland’s strategy to diversify its UK business. The Deputy Prime Minister was also shown and briefed on the new generation AW189 commercial helicopter by Ray Edwards, AgustaWestland’s UK Managing Director. Yeovil is playing an important role in the development of the AW189 helicopter which will achieve civil certification in mid-2013.
Graham Cole, Chairman, AgustaWestland Ltd said “I’m delighted the Deputy Prime Minister was able to take time to visit our factory in Yeovil and to see the advanced rotorcraft design, development and manufacturing capabilities we have here.
“He was keen to learn about the support being provided by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund and our own £100 million investment, which is allowing us to diversify into the commercial helicopter business.”
The rotorcraft industry is a vital element of the UK’s hi-tech industrial base and makes a major contribution to the UK economy with 2011 revenues of more than £1.1bn and an order book of more than £3bn. AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, is a major employer with more than 3,280 direct employees in the UK and supports around 10,000 UK-based jobs indirectly with more than 845 suppliers across the UK, including 650 small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and micro businesses.