Brandon Lewis MP, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, paid a visit to Collins Aerospace in Kilkeel to gain a detailed understanding of the aerospace sector in the country.
During the visit, Lewis learned how the sector had been affected by the pandemic and Collins Aerospace’s plans for future growth. The company has manufactured aircraft seats at the facility for more than five decades.
Brandon Lewis MP, said: “It was brilliant to visit Collins Aerospace’s facility in Kilkeel. Nestled at the foot of the Mourne Mountains in South Down is some of the most cutting-edge and innovative engineering, that provides seating solutions for global airlines.
“Meeting with staff and leadership, I was heartened to hear the company’s future plans for growth. This sector will be key to Northern Ireland’s economic recovery and the UK Government will do all it can to continue to level up the region, building our global reputation for aerospace excellence.”
Optimism for future, but “still challenges ahead”
Stuart McKee, Managing Director of Collins Aerospace in Kilkeel, added: “Collins Aerospace was delighted to host the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and have the opportunity to show and discuss some of our highly innovative products, as well as meet some of the team. We are very proud of our workforce, what we do and deliver in Kilkeel, and indeed the wider community in Kilkeel. Our standing in the community for over 50 years is testament to that and shows how important this company is to the local area and to the Northern Ireland economy.
“Although optimistic about the future I have no doubt, given the latest COVID-19 variant, we still have challenges ahead. We will continue to prepare for future growth but there is some way to go to achieve the same levels of manufacturing pre pandemic.”
Dr Leslie Orr, ADS(NI) added: “Northern Ireland is a leading aerospace region with great capabilities in aircraft interiors and seat manufacturing. I must thank the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland for visiting Collins Aerospace in Kilkeel to gain a better understanding of the sector and its challenges. The excellent contribution that this company makes and how important it is to both the UK and Northern Ireland economies cannot be understated.”