12 Feb 15. CTruk’s plans to build larger vessels for offshore wind and diversify for sustainable growth were given a boost today with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg’s announcement that the Essex-based SME has been selected to receive funding through Round 6 of the UK Government’s Regional Growth Fund. The £1m RGF grant will catalyse private investment of around £7.3m for the construction of an Advanced Composite Technology Centre, incorporating a training facility, on the River Colne in East
Colchester. It is expected that the project will create over 120 new jobs over the next few years, including the provision of training skills for 15 new apprentices. The centre will enable CTruk to build larger workboats designed to meet the complex demands of wind farms further offshore, educate the next generation of modern boat-builders and facilitate diversification into other commercial marine sectors (the company recently announced a hydrographic survey vessel order from the Port of London Authority). CTruk also plans to use its composite expertise for non-marine manufacturing at the centre in the longer term future. This project is a prime example of the Offshore Wind Industrial Strategy in action, with industry and Government working together to build a competitive and innovative UK supply chain. CTruk’s bid received strong local, regional and political support from Sir Bob Russell MP, Bernard Jenkin MP, Colchester Borough Council, Tendring District Council, University of Essex, Colchester Institute, South East Local Enterprise Partnership, Haven Gateway partnership, Essex Chambers of Commerce and East of England Energy Group (EEEGR) as well as major client CWind Ltd. Work is planned start on the new building in the spring.
12 Feb 15. Vector Aerospace UK a leading provider of aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services, is to receive a Regional Growth Fund award from the UK Government. The award was announced by the Rt. Hon Matthew Hancock MP, Minister of State at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and Minister of State for Portsmouth, when he visited Vector’s Fleetlands site in Gosport, Hampshire. The award, totalling £2 million over two years, will reinforce the significant investment that Vector is making in the transformation of its Gosport business. A long established key supplier to the UK Ministry of Defence, Vector is now enhancing its capabilities and services, targeting new customers around the world. This funding will enhance Vector Aerospace’s UK design and aviation services portfolio, enabling the company to compete more effectively in global aerospace modification and upgrade markets, both civil and military. There is already a core team in place at the Gosport site engaged in this important work and Vector Aerospace estimates the expansion assisted by the regional grant will create over 70 jobs during the next 10 years, with a similar number being created in the supply chain.
11 Feb 15. The aerospace industry is shifting more manufacturing investment to the United States after a decade in which production jobs in the sector flowed to China and other emerging economies, according to a new study. Consultancy ICF International analyzed more than 2,000 investment transactions made since 2000, and found 28 manufacturing investments in the United States from 2012 to 2013, compared with eight each in China and Mexico, and four in Brazil. A decade earlier, Mexico led the pack with 10 investments, compared with just six investments in the United States. ICF said its data show a strong flow into China, India, Brazil, Mexico and other emerging markets until 2012. In the last three years, investment has shifted toward the United States. Labor cost savings that prompted work to move offshore have narrowed as wages have risen overseas and companies in developed countries installed robots to automate production and reduce touch labor. Different regions of the United Stat