August 14: UK Business Secretary Lord Mandelson announced that the British Government has loaned Airbus £340 million for the development of the A350 XWB to safeguard British jobs.
The loan, drawn from the government’s £750m Strategic Investment Fund, will help sustain more than 1,200 jobs within Airbus UK across the Filton and Broughton sites as well over 5,000 within the supply chain across the country.
Lord Mandelson said: “The UK’s aerospace industry is world-class and capable of competing successfully with companies across the world. We recognise the vital role Airbus, and its supply chain, play in the UK. This agreement is further evidence of this government’s long-term commitment to the aerospace industry and its future success. Aerospace is one of the UK manufacturing’s crown jewels, and manufacturing is one of the UK economy’s crown jewels.”
The £340 million is repayable with interest by Airbus and is not a grant. It is available only to the aerospace sector and stems from the provisions of the Civil Aviation Act 1982. Germany has proposed support of €1.1 billion for the Airbus A350 XWB and the Spanish Government is still in discussion with Airbus.