The new £400 million Airbus wing factory in Wales which will assemble the new A350 XWB long-range aircraft has been opened.
Prime Minister David Cameron unveiled the state-of-the-art Airbus North Factory at Broughton in Flintshire, which has created 650 new jobs.
It is one of the largest manufacturing facilities to be built in the UK in recent years and will produce high-tech carbon fibre ‘composite’ wings for the A350 XWB.
“The government is committed to building a more balanced economy with stronger manufacturing, exports and private investment, creating jobs and opportunities across the UK," said Prime Minister Cameron.
"I welcome the opening of Airbus's new state-of-the-art facility which will contribute to this and support our programme to create sustainable economic growth.
"Airbus's investment here also underlines its confidence in the expertise of its British workforce and in the UK's manufacturing base.”
The A350 XWB programme will support over 1,200 jobs in the Airbus sites at Filton and Broughton and over 5,000 other high skill/high value jobs across the UK supply chain.
More than £3 billion has been invested in the aircraft and its engines by UK aerospace companies in the programme which underpins the key position of the UK as a global centre of aerospace manufacture.
"The new A350 XWB facility is great news for the North Wales economy and a tangible example of the kind of private sector growth the Government is working to create," said Secretary of State for Wales Cheryl Gillan.
"This will further cement Wales' growing reputation as a first class innovator and leader in the Aerospace and supply chain sector."
The North Factory assembly line is dedicated to assembling the 31 metre long wings for all members of the A350 XWB Family which is scheduled to enter service by the end of 2013.
Currently employing 6,000 people, the 700 acre Airbus site at Broughton specialises in wing production and has been manufacturing aerospace equipment for more than 70 years.
Over £1.8 billion has been invested into the site in the past decade.
“The Airbus North Factory, a truly world-leading aircraft wing assembly plant, is a major pillar in the Airbus global setup. The opening today marks an important milestone for our A350 programme as we move towards the start of the aircraft final assembly," said Airbus chief executive Tom Enders.
“This new facility and all the teams working on building our A350’s carbon-fibre wings will play a vital role in delivering this new generation aircraft.”