14 of the 15 world-leading aerospace companies are based here. The area is Europe’s aerospace powerhouse, with specialist expertise in areas like composites, robotics, and additive-layer manufacturing.
In addition to the 31,000 aerospace jobs in the West of England, the region is home to four world-class universities attended by over 94,000 Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths (STEM) students.
The region is home to the National Composites Centre (NCC) which is one of seven world-class centres comprising the UK’s High Value Manufacturing Catapult (HVMC) research centre.
At the HVMC, businesses of various sizes and sectors can access new technology and specialist engineers to drive innovation for composites.
Major international businesses operate in the region, such as Airbus, GKN Aerospace, BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce, Leonardo Group, and Boeing. Their supply chains lead in aerospace research, development, and design. These businesses feed the manufacture of aircraft, helicopters, military transport, satellites, and communication systems across the country and globally.
Airbus, Rolls-Royce, and GKN Aerospace are undertaking ground-breaking activities at sites in the region to contribute to their global corporate sustainable aviation and zero emissions goals.
Hydrogen aviation, in particular, is now emerging as an industry priority. This is shown by Airbus’ ZEROe hydrogen-powered concept aircrafts and the £54.4 million H2GEAR hydrogen propulsion project led by GKN Aerospace.
Bristol is also home to one of the UK’s leading Urban Air Mobility companies, Vertical Aerospace.
The West of England is also home to a growing space sector, with key players such as Thales Alenia Space based in Bristol.
The region has been announced as one of the UK Space Agency’s new ‘Space Hubs’.
Businesses in the region are developing innovative defence equipment and services. These companies include BMT Defence Services, Horstman Defence Systems, and Babcock International.
The sector also benefits from the presence of the MOD'S Defence Equipment and Supply site at Abbey Wood, Bristol. The site supports over 30,000 jobs with a £14 billion budget.