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Gloucestershire Business News

Famous aerospace name to touch back down in Gloucester

A leading aircraft propeller systems manufacturer, driven from its Gloucester home following a major fire, has revealed when it expects to land back in the city.

Dowty Propellers has continued to manufacturer for both the civil and military markets since the fire of three years ago after relocating to temporary sites with its main base becoming the Forest of Dean.

At the time of the devastating blaze the then president of the GE Aviation-owned company, Oliver Towers, committed the firm to the county despite the need to up-sticks from Gloucester.

"The decision to stay in this area was driven by the capabilities and commitment of our workforce that stretches back over 80 years," said Mr Towers.

Now the time is nearing for its grand return, but there is some way to go yet according to a statement released to Punchline-Gloucester.com by the company.

"Dowty Propellers intends to invest in a new facility at Gloucester Business Park, Hucclecote.

"The facility will be subject to planning approval and if such consent is granted, it is expected that operations will commence in late 2019.

"The new facility follows Dowty Propellers announcement last year of its commitment to continue operations in the Gloucester area following a fire that destroyed its operating headquarters and blade manufacturing facility in February 2015.

"Since the fire, Dowty Propellers and its employees (circa 380) have been operating from several interim facilities in Gloucestershire. Employees will progressively transfer to the new facility once it is operationally ready.

"GE Aviation and Dowty Propellers are committed to investing in this new multi-functional facility at Gloucester Business Park and a seamless transition for both employees and customers.

"The new facility will house the business headquarters and production facility, along with the main UK repair and overhaul operation."

Shortly after the fire, in what was seen as a vote of confidence by the firm in the country and the county, Dowty Propellers announced a £20million technology development project, called Digital Propulsion.

It was a move championed by the Government's then minister for business, Richard Harrington, who said it demonstrated the "sustained strength of the UK's aerospace sector".

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