The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Brandon Lewis MP, visited Collins Aerospace in Kilkeel on Tuesday this week, to engage and gain a detailed understanding of the aerospace sector in Northern Ireland, how it has been affected by the pandemic and its plans for future growth.
(left to right) Stuart McKee
Collins Aerospace and
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Brandon Lewis MP.
Courtesy Collins Aerospace
The manufacture of innovative seating solutions for commercial aircraft and business jets has long been associated with the facility, and aircraft seats have been manufactured in Kilkeel for over five decades.
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Brandon Lewis MP, said: “It was brilliant to visit Collins Aerospace’s facility in Kilkeel. Nestled at the foot of the Mourne Mountains in South Down is some of the most cutting-edge and innovative engineering, that provides seating solutions for global airlines.
“Meeting with staff and leadership, I was heartened to hear the company’s future plans for growth. This sector will be key to Northern Ireland’s economic recovery and the UK Government will do all it can to continue to level up the region, building our global reputation for aerospace excellence.”
Stuart McKee, Managing Director of Collins Aerospace in Kilkeel, added: “Collins Aerospace was delighted to host the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and have the opportunity to show and discuss some of our highly innovative products, as well as meet some of the team. We are very proud of our workforce, what we do and deliver in Kilkeel and indeed the wider community in Kilkeel. Our standing in the community for over 50 years is testament to that and shows how important this company is to the local area and to the Northern Ireland economy.
“Although optimistic about the future I have no doubt, given the latest COVID-19 variant, we still have challenges ahead. We will continue to prepare for future growth but there is some way to go to achieve the same levels of manufacturing pre pandemic.”
Dr Leslie Orr, ADS(NI) added: “Northern Ireland is a leading aerospace region with great capabilities in aircraft interiors and seat manufacturing. I must thank the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland for visiting Collins Aerospace in Kilkeel to gain a better understanding of the sector and its challenges.
"The excellent contribution that this company makes and how important it is to both the UK and Northern Ireland economies cannot be understated.”