Grant funding worth more than £2 million has been awarded so far to Midlands-based aerospace SMEs, or companies seeking to diversify into the sector, as part of the Aerospace Unlocking Potential (UP) programme which has been working to support the upturn of aerospace in the region.
Aerospace UP is a £20m three-year programme (2020 to 2022) being delivered by the University of Nottingham and the Midlands Aerospace Alliance, which is supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). More than 100 companies have received support so far from the programme to help them regrow, not only in the form of grants but also academic expertise, student placements and specialist workshops covering future requirements and opportunities in the sector.
With a third of grants already awarded, and more in the advanced stages of agreement, the Aerospace UP programme team is encouraging Midlands-based SMEs that are already in aerospace, or interested in getting into the sector, to apply. There is no fixed deadline but companies should apply as soon as they can in 2022 to have the greatest opportunity of success.
Support through the Aerospace UP programme is available to SMEs (with fewer than 250 employees, a turnover of less than €50m, or a balance sheet total of less than €43m) based in the Black Country, Coventry and Warwickshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Greater Birmingham and Solihull, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Staffordshire and the South East Midlands. Companies can visit ukassistedareasmap.com/ieindex.html to confirm their LEP area. Interested companies can find out more about Aerospace UP and apply at aerospaceup.com.
The Midlands Aerospace Alliance represents one of the largest aerospace clusters in the world, supporting over 300 companies. The Midlands is home to over one quarter of the UK aerospace industry and is a leader in advanced aerospace manufacturing. The cluster’s contribution to the economy is driven by global demand for high-technology aero engines, complex aircraft systems and precision-engineered components.