Task Force promises to help Lancashire aerospace sector to recover

The Lancashire Enterprise Partnership has published its Recovery Plan for the aerospace sector, based on the recommendations of the Lancashire Aerospace Task Force.
Rolls-Royce in LancashireRolls-Royce in Lancashire
Rolls-Royce in Lancashire

The Lancashire Aerospace Recovery Plan is the culmination of 15 weeks’ work by the Task Force, comprised of business leaders from the aerospace industry.

Convened and chaired by the LEP, the Task Force was formed in response to the impact of Covid-19 on the aerospace sector, which is being severely and adversely impacted, resulting in significant job losses in a highly skilled workforce.

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Workers at Rolls-Royce in Barnoldswick are set to go on strike in protest at job losses and work being offshored.

Claire Whelan, a member of the Task Force and LEP Board Director, said: "The Lancashire Enterprise Partnership’s Manufacturing Group took the decision to undertake a deep dive into the aerospace sector when it became clear, businesses operating within the industry were experiencing difficulties.

“The redundancies announced by Rolls Royce and Safran provided a real indication to the LEP and its Manufacturing Group that action was required to mitigate further adverse effects of the pandemic on a sector that provides large-scale, high value employment in the county.

“As a result, the LEP brought together senior business leaders from some of Lancashire’s key aerospace companies to establish a Task Force to identify the immediate challenges and define the support needed for these businesses to survive and stabilise in the first instance.”

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Commercial airlines and their suppliers have suffered from the grounding of fleets for many months.

The military sector, like BAE Systems, has fared much better. Rolls-Royce is heavily involved in the new Tempest Eurofighter jet programme.

Claire added: ‘By bringing together a range of businesses from those operating in the aerospace sector, the LEP obtained real-time evidence on the issues and challenges encountered, and what is needed in terms of support and interventions.”

The impact of Covid-19 has diminished decades of sustainable growth in the sector, creating supply chain vulnerability and the loss of good jobs, built from a rich heritage of over 100 years in aircraft production in Lancashire.

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The Lancashire Aerospace Recovery Plan identifies 15 interventions over the short, medium and longer term, based on three different scenarios the sector may face, which in in turn.

Those scenarios depend on the duration of travel restrictions and quarantine rules.

Claire added: “Those operating within the civil aerospace supply achains have been particularly affected as the demand for new aircraft is experiencing record lows, and many of these businesses are reporting a reduction of between 40 and 50 per cent in revenues since lockdown restrictions were imposed.

“The Lancashire Aerospace Recovery Plan identifies ways in which businesses can stabilise and recover from the crisis .”

The Aerospace Recovery Plan can be viewed in full on the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership’s website www.lancashirelep.co.uk

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