Bombardier Aerospace, Belfast, today welcomed the UK Prime Minister, Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP, to its Queen’s Island facility. Mr Brown met senior management, trade unions, and employees representing all parts of the company which this year is marking a century of aircraft innovation. The Prime Minister was officially greeted by Sir George Quigley, Chairman of Short Brothers plc and Michael Watty, Vice President, Advanced composites and Industrial strategy, Bombardier Aerospace, Belfast. During a guided tour of a display which outlined the company’s pioneering developments in aircraft over the past 100 years, the Prime Minister met many employees including those engaged in engineering research and development, shop-floor operations, environmental management, customer support, as well as Bombardier apprentices and employees who have recently qualified under the Engineering Skills for Industry programme, a training scheme sponsored by Bombardier in an area of high unemployment in Belfast.
Mr Brown was presented by Michael Watty with a model of the CSeries aircraft which Bombardier launched in July and for which the Belfast facility will design and build the composite wings. During the next five years, Bombardier will be investing in Northern Ireland in new facilities, plant and machinery, and in engineering research and development of the wings. The investment will bring significant benefits both in skills development for Bombardier employees, and for its suppliers in the UK, Ireland, and the wider European and global supply chain.
The Prime Minister said: "I was delighted to visit Bombardier Aerospace today in this its centenary year and to see at first hand how expanding business and investment is benefitting Northern Ireland.
"Bombardier’s decision to base production of the CSeries wing in Belfast is the biggest ever inward investment in Northern Ireland. The £520 million investment will not only create or sustain 800 jobs in Belfast but will also generate hundreds of jobs elsewhere in the UK supply chain. That investment will mean not just more jobs, but more highly skilled jobs. I was especially pleased to meet apprentices and those who have qualified through the Engineering Skills for Industry programme.
"Bombardier’s investment is a resounding vote of confidence in Northern Ireland’s economy and an example to investors worldwide of the opportunities that exist here."
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