Advanced Materials & Manufacturing
Airbus is one of the great Welsh manufacturing success stories of the age, with the world-class facilities in North Wales setting the global standard in aerospace manufacturing.
Broughton is a powerhouse for Airbus: the aircraft manufacturer produces in excess of 1,000 wings a year from a site with a workforce of more than 6,000 people. The Welsh home of aviation classics like De Havilland’s Comet and the
Mosquito continues to thrive. An overall investment of £2 billion over the past 15 years has helped to ensure an exciting future for one of the most prestigious businesses in Wales. Steve Thomas, the Government Affairs Executive for Airbus UK, says the mood is buoyant.
“Airbus has had a presence at Broughton since 1939, when we were created as a shadow war factory. We’re primarily involved in manufacturing and engineering, but we’ve invested significantly in the wider supply chain, which employs around 2,000 people. This is a fantastic modern setting. Adjacent to the west factory we’ve got a business park with three suppliers. And we’re very proud of our skilled workforce, which extends to over 6,500 people. Today, Wales offers exactly what Airbus requires in terms of the infrastructure, surrounding locality, skilled workforce and the facilities across the site and its 750 acres. More than 100,000 people are dependent on the work we generate, and it contributes more than £2 billion to the UK economy each year, so we’re riding on a high.
“We’ve got future bookings extending over ten years. There’s a great level of optimism associated with that order book and the future prospects we have. When we look up in the sky, it’s a great feeling to know that we’ve contributed in some shape and fashion to that success story.
“My advice to other companies looking at operating in Wales is, ‘come and join us’. We are the envy of our European partners in terms of what we’ve got here in Wales and the relationship we’ve got with Welsh Government and how supportive they have been. It’s a great, mature relationship that’s developed over a number of years.
“A close relationship with Welsh Government gives us access to decision makers at ministerial level quickly. And if we want advice and support we can just pick up the phone.”