Boeing opens UK office to boost UK supply chain purchases; readies for UK factory opening

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​Boeing has launched the Office of UK Industrial Capability (OUKIC), an enterprise team to promote UK innovation and supply chain competitiveness around the world that is based in Seattle, with representatives in St Louis and the UK.

The OUKIC will help British companies increase bid opportunities across defence and commercial aerospace and its work will be supported by a Steering Committee of senior leaders from across the British Government and Boeing.

Pictured: President of Boeing Europe and managing director of Boeing UK and Ireland, Sir Michael Arthur

This effort is a unique and significant Boeing commitment to UK industry and it builds on the long-term partnering initiative for growth and prosperity between Boeing and the UK government announced in July 2016.It will help deliver more investment and innovation in the UK supply chain, in recognition of the capabilities and opportunities presented by the UK aerospace and defence industry.

Said UK Minister for Defence Procurement, Stuart Andrew: “The UK has a long-standing relationship with Boeing and I welcome the continuing commitment from the company to the UK’s defence and aerospace sectors and the wider UK economy. Our Armed Forces will benefit from the submarine hunting capabilities of the P8 maritime patrol aircraft, the lethal firepower of the Apache attack helicopter and the strategic airlift missions conducted through the power of the C-17 Globemaster. I welcome the establishment of the Office of UK Industrial Capability, which will create exciting new opportunities for Boeing and UK industry to work together on both current and future programmes.”

Business and Industry Minister, Richard Harrington, said: “The UK aerospace and defence sectors are fundamental in driving economic growth and innovation, and the launch of the Office of UK Industrial Capability will boost the thousands of highly skilled jobs Boeing supports across the UK.Through our modern Industrial Strategy, we are cementing our status as a leading aerospace nation with suppliers well positioned to deliver Boeing’s new aircraft and upgrade programmes.”

President of Boeing Europe and managing director of Boeing UK and Ireland, Sir Michael Arthur, said last week: “I welcome the creation of the OUKIC, and its crucial role working with Boeing, the UK government and suppliers to enhance skills, facilitate exports and develop new technologies within the UK’s aerospace and defence industry. Boeing’s growing footprint in the UK is a clear sign that Britain is an attractive investment opportunity for business, and I’m looking forward to the opening of our first European manufacturing facility, Boeing Sheffield, next week.”

The company is to open its first European manufacturing facility this week, in Sheffield on 25 October. The 6,200 m2 building will initially support 52 jobs and manufacture actuation system components for Boeing’s 737 and 767 aircraft. The Sheffield facility is part of Boeing’s broader business strategy to grow in-house production of selective technologies to provide greater value to customers.

Boeing has been partnering with UK industry for more than 80 years and has recently significantly expanded the depth and breadth of operations in the UK, supporting more than 74,000 jobs in the UK in 2017, 33% higher than five years ago.In 2017, Boeing spent more than £1.8 billion ($2.3 billion) with Tier 1 suppliers based in the UK. The company has also built on its successful partnerships with SMEs and universities by increasing capital investment, with Research & Development (R&D) spending increasing to £16.5m in 2017, from £8.5m in 2015.

Boeing employs more than 2,200 people across the UK at more than 20 sites, from Glasgow to Gosport. In 2018, Boeing celebrates 80 years of partnership with the United Kingdom, the Armed Forces, British manufacturing and the air transport industry.