US aerospace giant Boeing has announced plans to establish a new £100m servicing facility in the UK and double its workforce in the country over the next few years, in spite of the UK's Brexit referendum result.
Despite concerns about the impact of leaving the EU on the UK’s attractiveness for international firms, the US plane-maker pledged to make Britain its European base for training, maintenance, repair and overhaul of its defence fixed-wing and rotary aircraft.
The plans, announced during the opening of the Farnborough International Airshow, are part of a partnership with the UK government designed to boost the UK’s position in the global aerospace and defence sector.
“Whatever uncertainties our country faces, I want the message to go out loud and clear: the UK will continue to lead the world in both civil and defence aerospace,” said Prime Minister David Cameron.
“We aren’t just open for investment: we are a place the global aerospace industry wants to do business – as Boeing’s long-term partnership with the UK proves.”
With the government’s support, Boeing will build an operational and training base for P-8A Poseidon military aircraft at Lossiemouth in Scotland, creating approximately 100 new jobs.
The plane-maker, together with the government and other industry players will also help fund some £365m worth of aerospace R&D projects that have been approved by the government as part of the Aerospace Growth Partnership.
"Boeing is committed to the UK Government's prosperity agenda and we share the goals of enhanced economic growth that the Prime Minister has set out to us," said Boeing chairman Dennis Muilenburg.
Boeing said it will make the UK its base for defence exports to Europe and the Middle East, increasing UK employment, investment and tax revenue. Boeing’s activities will result in about 2,000 new jobs to be created over the next few years, in addition to the 2,000 people the firm already employs in the country.
Boeing also pledged to increase the bid opportunities it offers to UK suppliers in an attempt to double their work with the manufacturer.
The UK government has recently signed a contract to purchase nine new Boeing P8 Maritime Patrol Aircraft to protect the UK’s new aircraft carriers.