Slingsby Advanced Composites to Make Major New Investment in Prestwick

29 January 2008

Slingsby Advanced Composites has revealed plans for expansion to its design, manufacturing and marketing operations for structural composite and metal structures for the defence, aerospace, marine and rail industries by opening a new facility in Prestwick, Scotland.

Driven by the increased demand for commercial and consumer air travel boosting aircraft production worldwide, Slingsby intends to seize this opportunity to further develop its already expanding aerospace portfolio.

Managing Director, Steven Boyd, a former apprentice of British Aerospace, Prestwick said, ""It's an exciting time for Slingsby as we embark on a venture that will not only compliment, but enhance technology in the local community. Having spent over ten years working for BAe, it is testimony to the skill set, reputation for innovation and capabilities of the people in the area that we as a company chose Ayrshire.

Stuart Brown, Finance Director, added; ""We are growing as a business and strengthening our market position. Many new projects are in discussion with current customers and we anticipate them coming to fruition in the not too distant future, hence it will necessitate the need for skilled people across many disciplines. The expansion will create 28 new jobs at the company's Prestwick base and the new investment is being supported by a Regional Selective Assistance grant of £250k.""

Announcing the support, Enterprise Minister Jim Mather MSP said; ""Slingsby's plan to invest in this new facility at Prestwick brings welcome jobs to the area and demonstrates Scotland's clear strengths in the manufacturing industry sector.

""Having had another lengthy dialogue with the aerospace sector again this week, it is encouraging to have a company aiming to strengthen Scotland's aerospace engineering portfolio, which will undoubtedly contribute to achieving increased sustainable economic growth.""

Lena Wilson, Chief Operating Officer of Scottish Enterprise, said; ""Today's announcement is tremendous news for Prestwick and will bolster Scotland's excellent reputation in the global aerospace industry.

""Build rates for civil aircraft are accelerating and new types of aircraft are regularly being introduced with the amount of composites used increasing rapidly. We should be proud that aircraft that will be flying all throughout the world in years to come will have 'made in Scotland' stamped on their airframes.""

Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire is also supporting the company's plans with a £350k Training Plus grant. The training programme, which will last until 2010, is to develop the composite manufacturing skills of the new employees the company will recruit.

Jan Reid, Team leader, Aerospace and Defence for Scottish Enterprise said; ""The Scottish workforce is already recognised by the aerospace industry for its flexibility and adaptability to develop new skills and composite materials technology presents a great opportunity for Scotland to build its expertise in this globally important sector.

""The technology also draws on a number of strengths in Scotland including our chemicals and textiles industries and we are working to embed composite skills in Scotland, which will have an impact across Scotland.""

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