The Welsh Government in the UK has announced a plan to establish an advanced aerospace manufacturing and research institute in Deeside, North Wales.

The government has also agreed in principal to provide £20m to establish the facility, which will further research on automotive, nuclear and food sectors.

The new institute aims to focus on combined research and development (R&D), improved manufacturing techniques and production processes, training needs and skills across industry.

“The institute will deliver game-changing support to key manufacturing companies."

The government noted that the £20m in principal funding will support an initial £10m investment from project partners to develop the institute.

It will be developed by the UK’s Deeside Enterprise Zone Advisory Board, AMRC Sheffield, Swansea University, and Coleg Cambria in association with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and large companies.

The facility will be split into two centres but operate as a single entity. An R&D centre will be established in Broughton and a networking, training, business development and advice facility near Deeside Industrial Park.

Aircraft manufacturer Airbus will be the first tenant of the facility and will use the centre for the company’s ‘Wing of the Future’ R&D programme that seeks to develop new wing technology.

Welsh economy secretary Ken Skates said: “The institute will deliver game-changing support to key manufacturing companies, as well as multi-sector supply chain companies and the broader SMEs economy.

“It is geared to increase productivity, commercialisation, innovation and skills development to ensure a thriving competitive industry base that will be a catalyst for growth and jobs across the supply chain in Deeside, North Wales, the Northern Powerhouse and further afield.”

The government is further planning to appoint a development board to conduct formal due diligence and finalise the industrial requirement leading to final investment decision of the facility.

The specification and location of the facilities are expected to be finalised by next year.