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Gloucestershire Business News

Work begins on major aerospace headquarters

Spades have gone into the ground in Gloucester as work starts on a major new headquarters for a world-renowned aerospace company.

Described as a leading manufacturer of aircraft propeller systems for both the civil and military, the business plans to eventually touch down at Gloucester Business Park.

The facility in Hucclecote will include manufacturing space and office accommodation and will be the new business headquarters as well as the production and repair facility for Dowty Propellers UK.

"Our investment in the new facility demonstrates our commitment to the future of Dowty Propellers and the future potential of our people and products," said Dowty president Oliver Towers at the site ground breaking ceremony.

"We've built a strong heritage in the area and are proud that we are continuing our history of working in Gloucester.

"This new facility will allow us to operate in a bespoke environment that ensures we continue our position as a world leader in the design, development, manufacture and support of electronically controlled, all-composite propeller systems."

According to the company its new facility will incorporate the latest 'brilliant factory' technology which equips machines with sensors, allowing data to be analysed in real time.

The site is expected to be operationally ready by the end of 2019. Staff will progressively transfer to the new facility once it is operational from the company's interim base at Vantage Point, Mitcheldean, in the Forest of Dean.

In 2017, Dowty Propellers announced its commitment to continue operations in the Gloucester area after a fire destroyed its operating headquarters and blade manufacturing facility in Staverton in February, 2015.

The ground breaking ceremony was also attended by a host of dignitaries from organisations including Arlington, owners of Gloucester Business Park, and Winvic Construction, and it officially marked the commencement of construction.

Richard Harrington, Aerospace Minister, said: "Today's announcement is another vote of confidence in the UK's world-class aerospace manufacturing and engineering industry.

"Dowty's new facility will pioneer technologies for both civil and military aircraft and this decision shows how our modern Industrial Strategy is ensuring the UK remains a hub for high-skilled work and technology both now and in the future."

Dowty Propellers is also participating in a £20 million technology development project to deliver capabilities for both propeller systems and future propulsion systems.

The project, Digital Propulsion, is match funded by the UK government and supported by the Aerospace Technology Institute with a grant of £9.5 million

Partners include the UK's National Composites Centre, The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre and the Manufacturing Technology Centre.

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