Northern Ireland can deliver a world class product to a global market, Secretary of State Peter Hain MP said today. Mr Hain was welcoming Bombardier’s decision to manufacture key elements of its proposed new CSeries aircraft in Belfast, which he described as an historic boost for the Northern Ireland economy.
Bombardier’s announcement was made after the Department of Trade and Industry and Invest Northern Ireland agreed in principle to invest up to £180million in the project.
Subject to formal launch of the programme, Bombardier Aerospace Belfast will design and manufacture the wing, engine nacelles and composite tail of the new family of 110 – 130 seat aircraft, generating an average of 1,700 jobs per year over the core life of the project.
Mr Hain said: “Bombardier’s announcement represents a significant opportunity for the continued development of the aerospace industry within Northern Ireland. Their confidence in the Belfast plant is a testament to the skills and abilities of the local workforce and will ensure that Northern Ireland retains its position as a market leader in this important business sector.
“The work packages we have secured for Bombardier in Belfast will see the company return to the highly specialised production of aircraft wings and will help cement the UK’s position as a centre of excellence for wing design and development. The project will generate new technologies and employment opportunities, making a huge contribution to the future social and economic well-being of Northern Ireland.
“The project has been secured for Belfast through intensive negotiations between Bombardier, the Department of Trade and Industry and Invest NI, without which the project would not have become a reality. My colleague, the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, demonstrated the importance of this project by immediately prioritising these negotiations when he took up office, and I am absolutely delighted we have reached this successful conclusion.”
UK support will comprise £150m of repayable launch investment, of which Invest NI will contribute £25m. In addition, Invest NI will provide selective financial assistance of up to £30million.