Britain will pledge £340 million ($564.9 million) (R4533 million) in loans to plane-maker Airbus to make sure a part of its upcoming A350 passenger jet is built in the UK.
Business Minister Peter Mandelson said at an Airbus plant in Filton, Bristol that the support would create and sustain more than 1200 jobs within Airbus at its sites in Filton and Broughton in North Wales, as well as over 5000 jobs within the supply chain across Britain., Reuters reports.
“This agreement is excellent news for the UK aerospace sector and for the thousands of British workers within Airbus and its UK-based supply chain,” he told reporters.
“Aerospace is one of UK manufacturing’s crown jewels, and manufacturing is one of the UK economy’s crown jewels.”
Airbus, which is owned by European aerospace giant EADS, has been looking for loans from European governments to help build the €11 billion ($15.70 billion) (R126 billion) project in exchange for work to be shared out around the continent.
Germany would provide €1.1 billion (12 billion) and France 1.4 billion (R16 billion), German and French officials have said.
The system is fiercely opposed by the US and arch rival Boeing, who say the loans are being given on favourable terms.
The A350, which has already been ordered by 30 customers, will launch next decade and is intended to compete with Boeing’s much-delayed 787 Dreamliner.
The Airbus plant in Filton has 4000 employees and designs and builds wings. It is also earmarked to build the wings for the heavily delayed A400M military transport aircraft.
Pic: Aribus 350