Henry Smith MP has welcomed the involvement of Crawley-based Thales UK in two production deals announced by the Ministry of Defence.
“I welcome the Ministry of Defence signing a £271 million deal to continue to support our world-leading Wildcat helicopters, which will provide a further boost for the Crawley economy by sustaining highly-skilled local jobs.
“The multi-million pound contract plays a crucial role in ensuring our Armed Forces have the equipment they deserve. Crawley continues to play a key role in the security of our nation.”
The new Wildcat Integrated Support and Training (WIST) contract will support jobs in Edinburgh, Luton, and Crawley, where subcontractor Thales UK provide support to communication and aircraft management systems.
Wildcat helicopters are highly versatile aircraft, capable of a range of tasks over land and sea. The Royal Navy’s maritime Wildcat forms the core of the UK’s Frigate and Destroyer aviation capability, performing tasks including Anti-Surface and Submarine Warfare, force protection, transport and the vital information, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR) role.
The Army variant performs reconnaissance, command and control, force protection, and transport roles in a wide variety of environments.
“This announcement follows last week’s confirmation that the MOD’s contract for support for the UK’s Atlas A400M aircraft will also benefit Crawley, with Thales as part of the supply chain.
“This £410 million pound contract secures a key part of the RAF airlift fleet until 2026.”
Atlas can also carry armoured vehicles; for humanitarian roles it is capable of deploying mobile cranes, excavators and large dump trucks for disaster relief operations.
New deal for Manor Royal BID
The Manor Royal BID Company has signed a new deal with Crawley Borough Council and West Sussex County Council aimed at supporting local businesses and boosting economic growth.
The signing of the Manor Royal Deal comes on the back of the recent vote by businesses to renew the Manor Royal BID (Business Improvement District) and the successful Crawley Growth Programme bid to secure an investment package of £60m for the town.
A recent study revealed the increasing importance of the Manor Royal Business District that now provides over a quarter of all jobs in Crawley, more than 30% of all business rates for the town and a home to over 600 businesses.
The study also highlighted the increasingly competitive environment in which Manor Royal operates and that close partnership working between businesses and the local authorities would be key to continued success.
The deal is the first of its kind in the county and sets out how the Manor Royal BID and the two councils will work together to plan and deliver additional services, including the Crawley Growth Programme, the new BID Business Plan, as well as respond to other opportunities as they arise.
“This Deal with the county and borough councils formalises what has become a very productive partnership over the past few years,” said Trevor Williams, Thales UK and Manor Royal BID Chair.
“The future programme is exciting but can only be achieved by clear and positive partnership between the BID and both councils. This is what the deal provides.”
Louise Goldsmith, Leader of West Sussex County Council, said:
“The business community’s vote of confidence in the Manor Royal BID is testament to all the hard work that’s gone into the initiative in the last five years.
“Now we’re looking forward to continuing to help forge effective business partnerships in the Manor Royal Business District in the future.”
Councillor Peter Lamb, Leader of Crawley Borough Council, said:
“Crawley Borough Council is committed to delivering better career prospects for local residents and to do that we need to maintain and develop Manor Royal’s status as one of the leading locations in the UK for doing business.
“The BID, in partnership with local councils, has already delivered much for the business district. This deal will enable us to take things to the next level.”
The three organisations are wasting no time and are already working together to plan the first projects to be delivered following the signing of the deal that will include new digital advertising signage and information boards, improvements to entranceways and significant investment in transport infrastructure.
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