Bombardier secures £12m Govt funding to secure jobs in Belfast

Plane manufacturer Bombardier will receive almost £12 million of new Government funding to secure jobs at its Belfast factory.

Wednesday, 25th July 2018, 4:36 pm
Updated Wednesday, 25th July 2018, 5:39 pm
The funding will support the company to develop the thrust reverser for the new Airbus A320 NEO programme

Chancellor Philip Hammond made the announcement on Wednesday during a one-day visit to Northern Ireland, during which he toured Bombardier’s production line in Belfast.

He welcomed the new orders of 60 A220s announced last week at the Farnborough Airshow before chairing a financial services roundtable.

The wings for the A220, which was formerly known as the Bombardier CSeries, are made in Belfast.

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The new funding for Bombardier will support the company to develop the thrust reverser for the new Airbus A320 NEO nacelle.

There was uncertainty for Bombardier workers in Belfast last year after manufacturing rivals Boeing complained about the firm selling its CSeries jets to Delta Airlines below cost price.

The US Department of Commerce recommended a near 300% punitive duty on sales of the jets for five years, putting around 1,000 jobs in Belfast at risk.

But the International Trade Commission (ITC) in the US ruled against Boeing and in favour of Bombardier in January.

Mr Hammond pledged his support for Bombardier.

“We are backing Bombardier with £12 million of new money to help develop cutting edge technology - here in Northern Ireland - for modern aircraft,” he said.

“This will help to secure jobs for Northern Ireland’s economy and cement the UK’s role as a leading manufacturer of hi-tech aircraft components.”

Mr Hammond then travelled to Londonderry where he invited a bid for beefed-up development and economic powers.

During a visit to the Ulster University campus, Mr Hammond said the Government would consider an application for a city deal.

Politicians in Northern Ireland’s second city were angered last year when Mr Hammond’s Budget contained a city deal package for Belfast, but not Londonderry.

“Northern Ireland is leading the way within the UK in productivity growth,” Mr Hammond said.

“I want to support this progress by inviting a bid for a Derry-Londonderry City Deal, an opportunity for the region to continue to drive forward economic growth and build an economy that works for everyone.”