Bombardier's £500m NI investment welcomed

Bombardier’s investment of more than £500 million in Northern Ireland that will see Belfast design and manufacture the wings …

Bombardier’s investment of more than £500 million in Northern Ireland that will see Belfast design and manufacture the wings for the aerospace company’s new aircraft has been welcomed by NI First Minister Peter Robinson and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.

The Ministers hailed the announcement as a tribute to a strong skill base and commitment to innovation.

Mr Robinson said: "This is fantastic news for East Belfast and Northern Ireland."

The MP for East Belfast added: "I have been involved in this deal for a considerable period of time, pushing the government for their support.

"This is a tremendous boost for the local economy and represents a further example of Northern Ireland's competitiveness on the global stage."

Mr McGuinness said: "This announcement concludes the successful joint lobby of Gordon Brown by the First Minister and myself.

"The investment will also see the development of state of the art technology as well as developing the manufacturing and engineering skills of our workforce that will benefit our economy for years to come."

Northern Ireland Secretary Shaun Woodward and Business Secretary John Hutton also welcomed the news of Bombardier's investment.

The British government has also agreed in principle to provide £52 million to the project, part of a wider £155 million government investment package in Bombardier.

The government investment, which is mainly repayable launch investment, has helped secure Bombardier Aerospace Belfast's selection as one of the key suppliers to parent company Bombardier on their new 110-130 seat CSeries family of airliners. The funding will sustain over 800 jobs in Belfast.

Mr Woodward said: "This proves that devolution is winning for Northern Ireland. This is great news not just for Bombardier in Belfast but for the wider community.

"It also represents a great vote of confidence in the future Northern Ireland."

Mr Hutton said: "The UK's aerospace industry is world-class. This investment in Belfast demonstrates the government's commitment to supporting high-tech, high-skilled aerospace companies in the UK and ensure we remain a world leader in this sector.

"This package of support will see the return of aircraft wing production and bring new composite materials technology for wing design and manufacturing to Bombardier Aerospace Belfast, adding to the company's strengths."