Posted: Sun 15th Jul 2018

MOD land in Sealand earmarked for multi million pound Advanced Manufacturing & Research Institute

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Sunday, Jul 15th, 2018

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The Welsh Government says it has made significant progress in its plans to establish a second Advanced Manufacturing and Research Institute (AMRI) in North Wales, Economy Secretary Ken Skates has said.

The Economy Secretary confirmed that following a meeting of the Deeside Enterprise Zone last Friday, the Welsh Government has declared its intention to work with the Enterprise Zone Board and the Ministry of Defence led by the Defence Electronics and Components Agency (DECA), to develop a proposal that would see Wales’ second AMRI situated on MOD land adjacent to the Deeside Industrial Park Interchange.

Wales second AMRI follows the first in Broughton which the Welsh Government is investing £20m in, it is currently under construction and due to open by the end of 2019.

Artists impression of the first Advanced Manufacturing & Research Institute in Deeside currently under construction near Airbus in Broughton

“News that DECA are keen to work with us to develop an AMRI on Deeside is incredibly positive and exciting, particularly given DECA’s prominence as a world leader in the test and repair of avionic and electronic component support services.” Said Ken Skates speaking ahead of his visit to the Farnborough Air Show.

“Both I and the Deeside Enterprise Zone are hugely encouraged that the MOD supports, in principle, the use of such a prominent and accessible piece of land at the gateway to North Wales for this exciting project, and I am delighted to announce this as I travel to Farnborough to celebrate Wales’ thriving and successful aerospace sector.” Said Mr Skates

Economy Secretary, Ken Skates with David Jones, Chief Executive of Coleg Cambria and Chair of Deeside Enterprise Zone. Joined by Jason Leeks ( to the right of Ken Skates) Head of Strategy, Governance and Secretariat at DECA who was representing Geraint Spearing, Chief Executive of DECA, and members of the Deeside Enterprise Zone.

The Economy Secretary continued: “In developing our plans for Wales’ second AMRI we have listened carefully to the needs of business. As a result of that dialogue we intend to develop the second AMRI as an open access centre, which will include a real focus on skills development across the advanced manufacturing & materials and technology sectors. Delivering everything from apprenticeships right through to postdoctoral research it will be a real jewel in North Wales’ crown.

I am confident the second AMRI in Wales will be of huge benefit to companies across North Wales, including in the aerospace sector, and I look forward to attracting significant high value inward investors to the region, many of whom are already showing a keen interest.”

Speaking before attending the Farnborough Air Show where DECA are exhibiting, Geraint Spearing, Chief Executive, Defence Electronics & Components Agency said:

“Following the announcement in November 2016 that DECA and its industry partners BAE Systems and Northrop Grumman would become the global hub for F-35 component repair, I am delighted to be able to support Welsh Government, in principle on behalf of MOD, in taking forward their proposed plans for a second AMRI at DECA.

I am also tremendously proud that, should this proposal proceed, we will be able to continue DECA’s commitment to growing apprenticeships and high-end manufacturing skills now and in the future supporting local, regional and national job sustainment, Welsh Government’s advanced manufacturing and skills strategies and the UK Government’s Prosperity Agenda.”

Defence Electronics and Components Agency (DECA) at Sealand won the contract to overhaul European nations’ F-35 fighter jet avionics systems.

The F-35 maintenance programme will generate millions of pounds and support thousands of jobs in North Wales.

Over the lifetime of the programme, components for hundreds of European-based F-35 aircraft will be serviced and maintained in Deeside, the contract is reported to be worth £2bn.

Over the lifetime of the programme, hundreds of European-based F-35 aircraft will be serviced and maintained at MOD Sealand.

📷 Crown Copyright/Cpl Pete Devine RAF

The agency will be partnered with BAE Systems and US company Northrop Grumman, as well as various other F-35 original equipment manufacturers.

Work ar DECA Sealand will involve maintenance and repair of systems for the F-35 aircraft including electronic and electrical components, fuel, mechanical and hydraulic systems, and ejection seats.

The Economy Secretary is visiting Farnborough to meet key players from the Aerospace Sector and celebrate the successes of companies based in Wales which is home to significant operations for Airbus, General Dynamics, GE Aviation, Raytheon, BAE Systems and Safran (who have acquired Zodiac). Together these companies represent six of the top ten global aerospace companies.


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