A new aerospace headquarters in Cranfield to help allocate £2 billion of funding to projects across the country was officially opened by Business and Energy Minister Michael Fallon on Friday.
The MP hailed the groundbreaking initiative at the official opening of the headquarters of the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) in Cranfield.
Mr Fallon said: “Bedford is right in the centre of aerospace research, there are other important centres around the UK but Bedford is right at the centre of this. The government is committing long term to the success of industries like aerospace and Bedford is right at the centre of all this and is becoming a magnet for this kind of research.
“We have a winner here, we have the strongest aeropspace industry in Europe and we want to keep it that way.
“This is going to be the hub of the cutting edge research that we want to see happen across the industry.
This is a long-term programme with funding committed for seven years right through to the end of the next Parliament as you can’t simply lurch from one year’s funding to the next.
“There will be a billion pounds from Government and a billion pounds from industry to put the aerospace industry on a long-term sustainable footing - and I am delighted that the ATI is going to be headquartered here in Cranfield.”
Cranfield is one of many new projects supported by ATI funding that supports partnerships between companies and universities across the UK to build the high-grade skills and technologies to drive sustained growth and jobs.
Gary Elliot, new chief executive of ATI said: “This funding will protect sustained growth in the industry.”
The Minister also visited the Aircraft Research Association (ARA) in Bedford benefitting from £2 million of ATI funding to enhance its capability to carry out wind tunnel research and testing which could lead to less noise due to the lower impact of turbulence.
Mr Fallon said: “This is about making aircraft greener, more quieter, more fuel efficient and reducing carbon emmissions - this is about the ‘greening’ of aviation, and I delighted that Bedford will be at the centre of all this.”