Rolls-Royce has today announced a £150 million investment in new and existing civil aerospace facilities in the UK. This is to support the planned doubling of engine production.
A Rolls-Royce statement said: “The investment, which will be made over the next few years, is part of Rolls-Royce’s ongoing industrial transformation and will provide additional capacity as we develop and test the next generation of aero engines.”
The majority of the investment will be used to provide a new facility for the testing of large civil aero engines in Derby, the home of Rolls-Royce’s civil aerospace division. The new testbed will be capable of testing a range of engines including the Trent XWB, which powers the Airbus A350 XWB and is the world’s fastest selling civil large engine with over 1,600 on order from 45 customers in 31 countries.
There will also be investment in Rolls-Royce’s large engine Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) facility in Derby, as well as its manufacturing facilities in Derby and Hucknall, Nottinghamshire. The company has also committed to retaining the Precision Machining Facility (PMF) in Derby, which it previously announced would be closed.
The statement explains: “A constructive dialogue with our senior union representatives in the UK has underpinned the decision to invest in Derby, helping to sustain more than 7,000 Rolls-Royce jobs across the East Midlands and facilitating the ramp-up in engine production.”
Eric Schulz, Rolls-Royce, President – Civil Aerospace, said: “This investment comes at a time of unprecedented growth in Rolls-Royce. We are doubling the production of new engines at the same time as introducing three new engines to the market. With this investment, we are creating the capacity and flexibility to deliver on our goals, while committing to sustain employment in the UK and I would like to thank the unions for their support in delivering this important package of investment.”
Simon Hemmings, Unite Union Chief Staff Negotiator for Rolls-Royce (Derby & Hucknall), said: “This is a great news story that allows us to focus on the future rather than the past. The agreement we’ve reached shows how companies and trade unions can work together differently to deliver the investment and productivity improvements needed to secure the success of a business for the next generation.”
Rolls-Royce currently employs around 22,300 people in the UK, across a range of jobs, including more than 600 apprentices.