HC Deb 25 March 2002 vol 382 cc691-2W
Mrs. Irene Adams

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps the Government have taken to help the aerospace industry since 1997; and if she will make a statement on her plans for further support. [43920]

Mr. Wilson

The Government continue to support the aerospace industry through various programmes. For example, since 1997 we have committed nearly £1 billion in Launch Investment to Rolls-Royce and Airbus UK towards developing engines and wings for new aircraft. The Government have also funded over £100 million of research under their civil aeronautics research programme since 1997. The programme, which was renewed last year for a further five years until 2006, will continue to encourage both research and technology demonstration in civil aeronautics. There are also programmes to encourage cross-sectoral activity, for example, business process improvements, e-business and supply chain activity, from which the aerospace industry benefits. The Government are also making significant investment in the science base with the Research Council funding of research in a wide range of basic technologies of potential application in aeronautics.

The Government are undertaking a study with the SBAC to review the future of support to the sector. The Government have also supported retention of a major aeronautics research programme as part of the forthcoming 6'h European Framework programme from which UK companies should gain significant benefit.

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