A HAMPSHIRE aircraft manufacturer is to expand into new premises, creating 50 jobs

Britten-Norman, famous for its Islander light plane, has announced plans to expand its civil aircraft manufacturing and maintenance facilities at Solent Airport (Daedalus) at Lee-on-Solent.

The company has signed a lease for two new purpose-built hangars on Fareham Borough Council’s new aviation park.

The additional 13,000sqft will provide a new aircraft final assembly plant for the group’s manufacturing subsidiary, Britten-Norman Aircraftand space for the firm’s aerospace services business, BN Aviation.

Britten-Norman say the move will allow the group’s military support business, BN Defence, to use its existing facilities at Daedalus to expand output to meet increased demand in the military maintenance and repair

Britten-Norman chief executive, William Hynett, says that the news confirms the company’s commitment to regenerating Daedalus

“Our military operations centre, BN Defence, has created over 60 jobs on the site and we now intend to utilise the airfield as our primary aircraft operating base for our UK civil operations as well, creating or safeguarding another 50 jobs. To date we have invested over £20 million into the local community and now look forward to increasing that investment further.”

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage welcomed the move: “Britten-Norman is one of the country’s best-kept secrets and yet it is a true aircraft manufacturing success story, exporting aircraft from our local area to the rest of the world.

“The company’s investment in the Gosport peninsula is great news for local jobs, and gives a real opportunity to the next generation of apprentices that are currently being trained by CEMAST and BN Academy.”