Marcus Fysh, the Conservative MP for Yeovil, stepped up his mission to protect and expand the helicopter industry in the town by leading a debate on the issue in the House of Commons this morning.
Marcus secured a debate in Westminster Hall and discussed with fellow MPs and Harriett Baldwin, the Minister for Defence Procurement, how government departments, businesses and partners could work more closely to safeguard the industry and the highly-skilled jobs it supports.
He spoke about the proud history of the industry in Yeovil and the need for joined-up thinking and a clear plan for developing infrastructure and skills in the future, in line with the Industrial Strategy announced by the government this week.
Among other things, Marcus called on the government to:
- Provide funding support for the iAero innovation hub due to be built in Yeovil
- Encourage inward investment and the grouping together of businesses in the Yeovil area
- Support a centre of excellence and the development of technological skills in the Yeovil area
- Ensure the prosperity agenda, a scheme to promote economic growth nationally, is implemented in Yeovil
- Promote the civil use of helicopters made by Leonardo in Yeovil, maximising the benefits of their exemplary safety record
He also urged Leonardo and Boeing to explore joint opportunities in services, support and manufacturing.
“The debate offered an excellent opportunity to promote Yeovil’s case and discuss how we can work together to ensure a bright future for the helicopter industry, both locally and across the UK,” said Marcus, who recently helped to secure two major Ministry of Defence contracts that will safeguard around 460 jobs at Leonardo’s site in the town.
“Yeovil has a proud record in research, innovation and excellence, stretching over many decades, and I’m keen to see us build on this and explore further opportunities for growth.
“The Minister was full of praise for the vital role Yeovil and the wider South West played in the UK helicopter industry and I was encouraged by her feedback.
“I will continue to work closely with MPs, Ministers and key officials and do everything I can to keep Yeovil at the forefront of the industry and ensure our future prosperity.”
Click here to watch the whole debate.