Grant Shapps criticises SNP’s ‘approach to aviation’

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Boeing and National Manufacturing Institute Scotland have announced the opening of a research and development (R & D) facility in Westway Park in Renfrew. It is based next to Glasgow Airport and within the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland. The facility will help to explore new manufacturing technologies for metallic components, and it is aiming to double Boeing’s supply chain.

The project was announced as part of the Boeing Scotland Alliance, an agreement between Boeing and Scottish Enterprise, and they hope to create 200 new quality jobs in the next five years.

Called the Metallics Research Centre, the new facility is now home to an £11.8 million R&D programme to help reach those targets, in collaboration with the University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC), part of the NMIS Group.

The project is supported by £3.5 million of R&D funding from Scottish Enterprise.

Ivan McKee, the Scottish Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise, said: “As we recover from the coronavirus pandemic it is vital Government and industry innovate together to build a stronger, fairer and more sustainable economy.

“This project shows our £75million investment in NMIS is already delivering on that ambition.

“Aviation and aerospace have a crucial role to play in fighting climate change.

“We are committed to ending Scotland’s contribution to climate change and, critically, ensuring we do that in a way that is just and fair for everyone.”

The project also aims to reduce materials waste and discover opportunities to improve safety, productivity, and the environmental impact of its aircraft.

First announced in early 2020 the agreement could see more opportunities created for Brexit Britain.

Sir Martin Donnelly, president of Boeing Europe and managing director of Boeing in the UK and Ireland, said: “This opening is significant because it’s a sign of the commitment Boeing and Scottish Enterprise made when we announced the Boeing Scotland Alliance and this R&D programme.

“The NMIS and Boeing teams have worked tremendously hard through a global pandemic to bring us to this point.

“Our partnership has so much to offer for the future of advanced manufacturing and the aerospace sector in Scotland.”

In a manufacturing district site that sits next door to the facility, construction is already underway on a new NMIS headquarters which is set to open later next year.

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This will include a skills academy, collaboration hub and digital factory.

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, principal and vice-chancellor of the University of Strathclyde, said: “The opening of this new R&D facility is a hugely significant step for the growth of the advanced manufacturing sector in Scotland and for our long-standing relationship with Boeing.

“I am delighted to see the facility open its doors and look forward to Strathclyde, the AFRC and NMIS working in partnership with Boeing to foster innovation, create jobs and boost manufacturing growth while contributing to a more environmentally sustainable aviation sector.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson previously unveiled his Ten Point Plan to invigorate a “green revolution” and make Britain a “science superpower” after Brexit.

And Scotland is playing a significant role in this.

Not only is the nation attracting foreign business investments in science like this, but it also made huge strides in the fight against climate change with its impressive green credentials.

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