Councillor McIntosh joins the Minister and guests at the Chevron hangar
Chevron establish Centre of Excellence and create 82 jobs.
Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Keith Brown today (Wednesday 16 November) announced Manchester-based Chevron Aircraft Maintenance Ltd is to establish a world-class centre of excellence for aircraft engineering, maintenance and training at Glasgow Prestwick Airport.
The £8.5 million investment will lead to the creation of up to 82 new jobs in Scotland, of which 67 are highly specialised and skilled positions. The company expect to increase turnover from £9.6m in 2016 to £19m by 2021. Today the Cabinet Secretary met the first newly recruited member of staff while given a tour of the Hangar 747 where Chevron is now located. Simon Yeardley a Project Engineer originally from Ayrshire has worked in England since 2012, but this job has allowed him to move back home and fulfil his career aspirations.
The Chevron announcement is the first major success for South Ayrshire Council's inward investment programme – Invest South Ayrshire. The Council has worked closely and innovatively with Chevron, from initial enquiry, highlighting the opportunities at Prestwick and assisting the company to secure a solution tailored to their specific needs.
Supported by a Regional Selective Assistance grant of £2 million from Scottish Enterprise, the project, which will be operational early 2017, is being undertaken in response to increased customer and market demand. It will support Chevron to now deliver a variety of services that it is technically qualified to do but has previously had to borrow airline facilities to complete.
Glasgow Prestwick Airport provides a large, bespoke space for Chevron's increased line maintenance support operations that will include:-
- An EASA 145 approved Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) hangar facility
- On-site engine, office and workshop facilities, as well as an EASA Part 147 approved Training School
- A Freighter Conversion Programme for the BAE Systems Regional Aircraft
- A state-of-the art and environmentally friendly Aircraft and Engine Recycling facility for aircraft decommissioning
- Finally, a commercial aircraft for Care & Maintenance programmes contributing to the training and further development of the Airport's talented workforce.
Economy Secretary Keith Brown said: "I am delighted to welcome the news that Chevron Aircraft Maintenance Limited will establish an aircraft engineering, maintenance and training regional centre of excellence at Glasgow Prestwick Airport.
"The company's investment, which is being supported by our economic development agency Scottish Enterprise, underlines their commitment to Scotland, and is great news for the local Ayrshire economy. This development will bring many new and highly skilled jobs to the Prestwick area. I wish the team every success with the new venture and look forward to hearing of their achievements."
Managing Director of Chevron Aircraft Maintenance, Mr Neil Morris, said: "This is a very important project to us and we have greatly valued the support we have received from Scottish Enterprise in helping us achieve this investment. The airport is in an excellent location at the midway point of the Great Circle Route making it a convenient stop off point for the many aircraft that have existing flight planning over the airport. The facility will enable the Chevron Group to handle a large range of aircraft and we hope that we can offer additional benefits to Glasgow Prestwick's existing customer base across passenger, cargo, military, executive and general aviation including training through providing them with MRO and supporting services.
"Over the last 3 months we have worked closely with the airport team to promote the facility, beginning by exhibiting the new capability at last month's MRO Europe Amsterdam Conference – raising industry interest in the availability of MRO capability, resulting in with two aircraft operators contracting maintenance from January to April 2017."
Councillor Bill McIntosh, Leader of South Ayrshire Council said: "Our ability to meet Chevron's needs and present a robust and confident case for Prestwick as a suitable home for the company has well and truly paid dividends for everyone involved and boosts our reputation as the natural home of aerospace and space even further. It's also a prime example of what we can offer through our Invest South Ayrshire programme and I'm confident that Chevron is only the first of many companies that we will support to achieve a bigger and brighter future."
Managing Director of Scottish Development International, Paul Lewis, said: "Today's investment is a fantastic boost to the aviation engineering industry in Scotland, which is an ideal location for Chevron's centre of excellence. Chevron will now join the many international investors who benefit from our competitive business environment, strong skills base and effective support network, which help make Scotland the top performing location for inward investment after London. We look forward to supporting Chevron's ambitious growth plans and wish them every success."
Glasgow Prestwick Airport is an ideal location for Chevron as it is already home to a cluster of key players in the aerospace industry including: GE Caledonian, Spirit Aerosystems, UTC Aerospace Systems (formerly Goodrich), BAE Systems, Ryanair and Woodward Aircraft Engineering Systems. At the Airport the company will have access to a pool of highly skilled and qualified personnel, along with an established programme of training support provided by local Universities and Further Education Colleges.
Glasgow Prestwick Airport Chief Executive Officer, Ron Smith, said: "The newly formed leadership team at the airport is delighted to welcome Chevron to Glasgow Prestwick Airport and the wider Prestwick Aerospace campus. This is the first major new business that this team has secured and we see this as a building block on the way to delivering a profitable and sustainable airport for the long term.
"Chevron will bring in additional revenue for us through this lease but we also hope that this will provide us with an additional selling point for passenger and cargo airlines and other aviation customers including executive, military and general aviation to operate services to and from Glasgow Prestwick Airport.
"We will be working closely with Chevron to offer our support to help them build their business – their success will bring us success. This partnership working starts now with providing assistance to get the facility up and running in time to receive aircraft at the turn of the year. This assistance includes partnering with them to host a recruitment event this coming weekend in our main terminal building to help them fill these exciting new roles."
Chevron will be offering an "Employment Roadshow" for the 18th & 19th November at the Aviator Suite within Prestwick Terminal building where local people will be able to find out about what employment opportunities are on offer with more detail of the company.