Aero engine cash keeps Rolls-Royce jobs secure

More than 7,000 jobs have been safeguarded after the
Government invested £250m in Rolls-Royce to help the firm develop two new aero
engines.

The investment will be used for the further development of
the Trent aero engine family, which will be used to power the Airbus Industrie
A380 and the Boeing 747X among others.

Thirty customers and operators have already ordered more
than 1,400 Trent engines worth more than £12bn.

John Rose, chief executive of Rolls-Royce, said, “The new
Trent programme will reinforce the position of Rolls-Royce as a leader in the
world civil aviation market, as well as strengthening the company’s links with
the world’s two major airframe manufacturers.

“The programme will provide a further stimulus to technology
acquisition and high-technology manufacturing in the UK. It will also sustain
more than 7,000 jobs in Rolls-Royce and its UK supply chain.”

Announcing the Government’s support, Trade and Industry
Secretary Stephen Byers, said, “The Government backing for this project is a
practical demonstration of our commitment to helping hi-tech, high-skill
companies in the UK to compete on a global stage.

“The investment will provide a substantial boost to manufacturing,
not just in the East Midlands but throughout the country, with more than 7,000
well-paid, highly skilled jobs being safeguarded, as well as a direct return
for taxpayers from the sale of engines.

“This project will ensure Rolls-Royce’s Derby plant remains
a centre of excellence for aero engine design, development and production for
years to come.”

By Ben Willmott

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