Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Boeing Sheffield: Aircraft firm opens European factory

Boeing factory
Image caption People employed at the Boeing factory include mechanics, engineers and apprentices

US aircraft manufacturer Boeing has officially opened its first European manufacturing site in South Yorkshire.

The £40m Boeing Sheffield plant in Catcliffe, near Rotherham, has 52 staff producing aircraft components in its 6,200 sq m (66,736 sq ft) factory.

The actuation system parts are then assembled at Boeing Portland, in Oregon, before being sent to factories to be installed on plane wings.

Boeing said the new site proved the firm's commitment "to UK prosperity".

More than 100 different parts for the company's 737 and 767 planes are made at the factory before being shipped to the US.

Actuation systems move the flaps at the back of the wing to provide extra lift at low speeds during takeoff and landing.

The factory, which has 25 apprentice staff and is in the Sheffield Business Park, was built next to a research centre founded in 2001 by Boeing and the University of Sheffield.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Boeing Sheffield will produce up to 8,000 components a month for 737 and 767 aircraft

The company said many of its suppliers for the factory were in the UK, including a steel company based three miles away.

James Needham, operations manager at Boeing Sheffield, said: "Today's about celebrating the milestone we've achieved in opening our factory.

"We have a tough challenge ahead to make the parts and hit the ferocious rate we need to achieve to keep these commercial airplanes flying us all on holiday next summer."

Image caption The factory is in Sheffield Business Park near the M1 motorway
Image caption The plant employs 52 people, including 25 apprentices

Julie Dore, Sheffield City Council leader, said: "One of our top priorities is to provide the opportunities for young people in Sheffield.

"That's why it is so welcome not only to see such globally renowned brand like Boeing here, but their commitment to local apprentices who will make up much of the workforce."

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