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£32m for helicopter development

Thursday July 21st, 2011

Business Secretary Vince Cable has announced £32m worth of public financing for the production, research and development of helicopters in the UK.

The Business Secretary made the announcement during a visit to AgustaWestland’s Yeovil facility where design and development is taking place for the new AW169 light intermediate commercial helicopter. The new aircraft is a diversification for the Yeovil plant as this has previously focused on military aircraft.

The investment includes a £22m loan on market terms in order to assist production of the AW169. Separately, a total of £10m in R&D grants have been delivered through the Technology Strategy Board Scheme.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “By bringing design, development and part of the production of the AW169 to Yeovil, AgustaWestland are making a huge vote of confidence in the expertise of Britain’s engineers and the supply chain that already supports their operations here. This investment shows how important advanced manufacturing is to our economy and will make sure that the next generation of engineers benefit from having a world class research, design and development capability right here in the South West.”

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