BUSINESS Secretary Vince Cable paid tribute to the North East’s manufacturing heritage during a visit to Wearside.
Dr Cable was in Washington yesterday to mark the start of work on Rolls-Royce’s new factory, on the former Dunlop site in Vigo Lane.
The firm is switching production of aero engine parts from its plant in Pallion to the new factory.
“The new Rolls-Royce advanced aerospace disc manufacturing plant will further strengthen the UK’s position as an aerospace leader, and underpins the company’s ongoing commitment to the North East and its workforce,” said Dr Cable.
“As I recently set out in our industrial strategy, Government and business must work together for long-term economic growth.”
When fully operational, the new plant at the Radial Business Park in Washington, will be able to produce more than 2,000 fan and turbine discs a year.
The precision components are at the heart of the engine, operating at high stress in extreme conditions, providing thrust for a wide range of aircraft including the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the Airbus A380 and the Eurofighter Typhoon.
Alain Michaelis, Rolls-Royce deputy chief operating officer, said: “We are pleased to begin construction on this important new facility, which will use some of the most advanced manufacturing techniques to produce hi-tech aero engine components to power the most advanced aircraft operating today.”