Rolls-Royce announces £150m investment in UK aerospace facilities

Eleanor Steed
By Eleanor Steed June 29, 2017 14:47

Rolls-Royce announces £150m investment in UK aerospace facilities

Rolls-Royce has today announced a £150m investment in new and existing civil aerospace facilities in the UK to support the planned doubling of engine production and deliver on our record civil aerospace order book. The investment, which will be made over the next few years, is part of Rolls-Royce’s ongoing industrial transformation and will provide additional capacity as it develops and tests the next generation of aero engines.

The majority of the investment, which is in-line with the Group’s ongoing planned expenditure, will provide a new facility for the testing of large civil aero engines in Derby, the home of Rolls-Royce’s civil aerospace division. The new testbed will be capable of testing a range of engines including the Trent XWB, which powers the Airbus A350 XWB and is the world’s fastest selling civil large engine with over 1,600 on order from 45 customers in 31 countries.

There will also be investment in its large engine Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) facility in Derby, as well as in our manufacturing facilities in Derby and Hucknall, Nottinghamshire. Rolls-Royce has also committed to retaining the Precision Machining Facility (PMF) in Derby, which the company previously announced would be closed.

In a statement, Rolls-Royce said: “A constructive dialogue with our senior union representatives in the UK has underpinned the decision to invest in Derby, helping to sustain more than 7,000 Rolls-Royce jobs across the East Midlands and facilitating the ramp-up in engine production.”

Commenting on the investment, Eric Schulz, Rolls-Royce, President – Civil Aerospace, said: “This investment comes at a time of unprecedented growth in Rolls-Royce. We are doubling the production of new engines at the same time as introducing three new engines to the market. With this investment, we are creating the capacity and flexibility to deliver on our goals, while committing to sustain employment in the UK and I would like to thank the unions for their support in delivering this important package of investment.”

UK Business Secretary, Greg Clark MP, said: “This announcement underpins the critical role the UK plays within the global aerospace sector. The UK and Rolls-Royce are known throughout the world as pioneers of advanced engineering technology. I welcome the confidence the company is showing in the UK. This is just the type of investment our modern Industrial Strategy is looking to attract. These new facilities are good news for Rolls-Royce, its UK suppliers and our economy.”

Simon Hemmings, Unite Union Chief Staff Negotiator for Rolls-Royce (Derby & Hucknall), said: “This is a great news story that allows us to focus on the future rather than the past. The agreement we’ve reached shows how companies and trade unions can work together differently to deliver the investment and productivity improvements needed to secure the success of a business for the next generation.”

Rolls-Royce currently employs around 22,300 people in the UK, across a range of skilled jobs, including more than 600 apprentices.

In addition to the Trent XWB engine, Rolls-Royce assembles the Trent 700 and Trent 900 engines in Derby, powering the Airbus A330 and the Airbus A380 respectively.

Derby has also been home to the design and development of three new engines which are set to enter service shortly: the Trent XWB-97, which will power the Airbus A350-1000; the Trent 1000 TEN, which will power all variants of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner family; and the Trent 7000 which will power the Airbus A330neo.

Image: Rolls-Royce
Eleanor Steed
By Eleanor Steed June 29, 2017 14:47