Boeing plans to open a 25,000-square-foot production facility in Sheffield, the US aerospace company has announced.
This will be Boeing's first manufacturing facility in Europe and will cost more than £20m ($25.1m). It will manufacture high-tech components or actuation systems for Boeing's next-generation of 737, 737 MAX and 777 aircraft, which Boeing said will sit on the trailing edge of wings of these models.
The facility is part of Boeing's broader plan to bring manufacturing of such components and systems in-house across both the US and the UK. This is expected to help improve production efficiency, cut supply chain costs, support global growth and competitiveness.
Sir Michael Arthur, MD of Boeing UK and Ireland, said: "The UK provides Boeing with the talent and infrastructure we need to grow and maintain a high level of productivity and quality to meet our significant order book. We are proud to expand our relationship with the UK still further with Boeing Sheffield. Our decision to start manufacturing high-value components in the UK is a step-change in our engagement and a further example of Boeing's commitment to grow here, supporting the UK's long-term prosperity."
The facility will be named Boeing Sheffield and employ 30 staff and be part of the fabrication operations division of Boeing Commercial Airplanes' (BCA) facility located in Oregon, US, which too will produce and assemble actuation systems.
Jenette Ramos, VP and GM of Boeing Fabrication, said: "Boeing Sheffield is an investment in manufacturing that will benefit our customers by driving improvements in quality and efficiency. The expanded fabrication capability will grow our existing operations and strengthen our global services."
Upon getting the relevant permissions, Boeing Sheffield will be built alongside The University of Sheffield's Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing, a research campus founded in 2001.
Boeing expects to hire UK employees for the facility in 2018. It also plans to initiate a major R&D programme with the AMRC to develop new manufacturing techniques that can be applied in this facility.
"This announcement is the culmination of a successful relationship that has developed since the AMRC was founded and reinforces that our region is a leading location for high-value advanced manufacturing. We look forward to supporting Boeing and continuing to ensure that UK manufacturers remain competitive, through access to our expertise here at the AMRC," Professor Keith Ridgway CBE, executive dean of the AMRC with Boeing, said.