North WestSC21  Competitiveness and Growth Aerospace Cluster of Excellence.

The North West of England’s aerospace sector is one of the largest and most capable in the world generating over £8 Billion in turnover and directly employing over 25,000 highly skilled workers. With the industry forecast to grow by 4.4% per year for the next 20 years, requiring the manufacture of over 35,000 new aircraft worth over $5.3 Trillion, it is clear that global competition for this work is increasing.

That’s why the North West Aerospace Alliance (NWAA) has been trailblazing the way for the SC21 Competitiveness and Growth (C&G) national programme for over 12 months now, since the launch of the NW SC21 C&G Aerospace Cluster of Excellence at Paris Air-show 2017. 

NWAA is joined in industry funded initiative, by ADS (the UK’s premier trade association for the Aerospace, Defence and Security Sectors) and key UK Aerospace Customers including BAE Systems in Warton and Samlesbury, Rolls Royce in Barnoldswick and Safran in Burnley.

NWAA is collaborating with aerospace businesses from the North West to develop them into globally competitive companies through mentoring, training, coaching and the development of a new online learning and management system. These businesses will be some of the first in the UK to use the new national cross-sector standard framework for improvement “SC21 Competitiveness and Growth” developed by ADS and SMMT (Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders).

The North West Aerospace Businesses which have been collaborating together for the past year on this exciting new programme include; A&G Precision (based in Poulton Le Fylde), Addison Precision (based in Thornton Cleveleys),  Kaman Composites (based in Darwen and Burnley), Hycrome Aerospace (based in Burnley), Senior Aerospace Weston (based in Barnoldswick) Silcoms (based in Bolton), T&R Precision (based in Foulridge), Teledyne CML (based in Bromborough), Unilathe (based in Stoke), Velocity Composites (based in Burnley) and Wincanton (based in Samlesbury).

These ACE members have already benefited from industry mentors, multiple marketing exposés and a very successful collaborative experience at Farnborough Air Show where they were visited by many of the industry key personnel along with Members of Parliament and overseas delegates.  NWAA is proving that membership of this exclusive club of organisations offers many potential benefits beyond supply chain improvement. The Aerospace Cluster of Excellence offers many opportunities for like-minded companies to share best-practise, to collaborate on problem solving, to co-invest in new technologies and ultimately to bid and win new work together.

At Farnborough International Air Show, the Prime Minster pledged £20m of match funding to support productivity improvements in the Aerospace sector. This will be delivered by the national SC21 Competitiveness and Growth Programme(C&G) over a three year period. The initial targeted launch date is January 2019 for the funded elements.

Dr David Bailey, Chief Executive of the North West Aerospace Alliance, said; “The support we have received for the North West Aerospace Cluster of Excellence from our national aerospace and defence trade association - ADS, from key customers such as BAE Systems, Boeing, Rolls Royce and Safran has been unprecedented. The global competition for work is fierce and I am delighted that so many aerospace businesses from the North West of England have decided to collaborate to ensure we sustain and grow the capability of one of the world’s most important aerospace regions.”

Dr Neil Barnett, Director of Aerospace, ADS, said; “ADS are delighted the Aerospace Industry in the North West of England has come together with the support of BAE Systems, Safran and NWAA to collaborate on the SC21 Competitiveness & Growth Programme.”


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