Aerospace and Advanced Engineering

Many years of success and growth within the Heart of the South West Aerospace and Advanced Engineering sector has produced a strong, established industry cluster, particularly within the supply chain.

With 14 of the world’s top 15 aerospace and advanced engineering companies within the South West, including a number of major primes, the opportunities for relocating businesses are exciting. The UK has the world’s second largest aerospace industry, and the Heart of the South West counts Aerospace as one of its leading industries, employing more than 23,000 people and contributing over £1bn to the economy.

The strong industry cluster covers defence and civil contracts, with the latter seeing exponential growth over recent years, and still predicted to rise. Prestigious Aerospace and Advanced Engineering companies thriving in and around the Heart of the South West include AgustaWestland, Airbus, BAE Systems, Boeing, Flybe, GE Aviation Systems, GKN Aerospace, Gooch & Housego, Honeywell, Rolls-Royce, Thales and many more.

The aerospace-related supply chain is extensive, and Heart of the South West specialisms include composite manufacturing, technology and precision engineering. Exeter University specialises in additive layer manufacturing for high performance aerospace components using polymers, metals and ceramic powders and composites, and in control and systems, manufacturing and logistics, supply chain management, technology and innovation management, and aerospace strategy.

Plymouth University’s Advanced Composites Manufacturing Centre specialises in performance and manufacturing of composite materials. The National Composite Centre (NCC) in Bristol works in partnership with companies, leading research in manufacturing and materials technologies across the UK. The West of England Aerospace Forum (WEAF)represents up to 900 companies organising networking events, keeping members informed about potential industry support and stimulating supply chain links.


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