Mon, 27 May 2024

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HRH The Prince of Wales visits Airbus in Broughton


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HRH The Prince of Wales joined current and former employees at the Airbus plant in Broughton, North Wales, to mark the 75th anniversary of the first aerospace factory opening on the site in 1939.

His Royal Highness opened a new Visitor Centre which charts the history of the site from the first Vickers Wellington aircraft being manufactured to the pivotal role Broughton currently plays in construction of the new Airbus A350XWB aircraft which is scheduled to enter service later this year.

The Prince also visited the state-of-the-art North Factory where the A350’s wings are manufactured and presented Airbus with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise, which the company won in the International Trade category earlier this year.

Head of the Broughton Plant, Paul McKinlay said:

“We are honoured to welcome the Prince of Wales to Broughton for this significant milestone in the history of our plant.

“The site has changed considerably in the three quarters of a century since the first factory opened, and we have benefitted from around £1.9billion of investment in new facilities and equipment since we became part of the Airbus company in 2001.

“Mosquitoes, Doves, Wellingtons and Comets have emerged from this factory over the years, and today we play a part in developing the most technologically advanced civil airliners in the world. Airbus is vital to the continued success of the aerospace industry and this in turn benefits the region and the whole country.”

Airbus was announced as a winner of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in April this year. The company’s success in the International Trade category for outstanding overseas sales growth over the last three years and recognises Airbus’ commitment to adapt and develop in line with market needs in order to achieve planned growth.

The Prince of Wales presented the award to Tom Williams, Director of Airbus Operations Ltd, and Executive Vice President, Programmes in front of some of the 6,000 employees working at the Broughton plant. He also viewed some wings destined for A350 customer Finnair.

Tom Williams said:

“There is an enormous sense of pride amongst the people working here and at our sister site in Filton, who know that everyone travelling on an Airbus aircraft, all around the world, are likely to be flying on wings that have been designed and manufactured in the United Kingdom. This award recognises all of our team and a further 100,000 in the extended supply chain who support our operations across the country.”

At the new Visitor Centre, The Prince of Wales met a group of young people who participated in the Industrial Cadets scheme. Inspired by His Royal Highness, and launched at Airbus by the Welsh Government Minister for Economic Development and Transport Edwina Hart AM, the programme aims to encourage young people into careers in local manufacturing industry. With support from the Department for Communities and Local Government the project has been developed for national roll out by the charity The Engineering Development Trust (EDT) which specialises in linking business and education.


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