Boeing announced in February 2017 that it will open a production facility in Sheffield, United Kingdom, the company’s first manufacturing site in Europe. Planning permission for the site was granted in the summer of 2017 and the ceremony to break ground for the factory took place in September 2017, with the facility opening on 25 October 2018.
Boeing Sheffield will make more than 100 different high-tech actuation system components for the 737 and 767, from raw materials sourced in the UK. These components will be used on the trailing edge of the wings. Trailing edge actuation systems are responsible for extending and retracting the wing’s flaps during different phases of flight. The flaps add lift to enable take-off and landing at lower speeds, and provide drag to help slow the aircraft.
The 6,200-square-metre facility represents a Boeing investment of more than £40 million. It is part of a broader plan by Boeing to vertically integrate and begin in-house manufacturing of key actuation components and systems in the U.S. and the U.K., enhancing production efficiency and reducing cost in its supply chain.
The facility will support global growth and competitiveness for the world’s largest aerospace company and enable access to U.K. talent and capability. Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ (BCA) facility in Portland, Oregon, U.S., will also produce actuators and those made in Sheffield will be shipped there for assembly.
“The U.K. provides Boeing with the talent and infrastructure we need to grow and maintain a high level of productivity and quality to meet our significant order book,” said Sir Michael Arthur, president of Boeing Europe and managing director of Boeing U.K. and Ireland. “We are proud to expand our relationship with the U.K. still further with Boeing Sheffield. Our decision to start manufacturing high-value components in the U.K. is a step-change in our engagement and a further example of Boeing’s commitment to grow here, supporting the U.K.’s long-term prosperity.”
Boeing Sheffield will be located at the Sheffield Business Park, alongside The University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Boeing (AMRC), a world-class machining and materials research campus founded in 2001 by Boeing and the University of Sheffield.
Boeing established a presence in South Yorkshire in 2001, and Boeing Sheffield is a direct result of this longstanding and successful relationship with the AMRC and its world-class research and development. The company has initiated a major new research programme with the AMRC to develop new manufacturing techniques that can be applied to the new Boeing Sheffield facility.
The U.K. Government and Boeing announced a long-term initiative for prosperity and growth in the U.K. in July 2016. Boeing continues to look for ways to deliver additional U.K. growth across its commercial and defence businesses with valued partners and suppliers.
Boeing employs almost 2,300 people across the UK at numerous sites, from Glasgow to Gosport, and contracts with more than 250 U.K. suppliers, spending over $2.3 billion with tier 1 suppliers based in the U.K. in 2017. More than 29,000 people are employed as a result of Boeing U.K. operations, its purchases and the spending of those employed directly or in its supply chain. In 2018 Boeing celebrates 80 years of partnership with the United Kingdom, the Armed Forces, British manufacturing and the air transport industry. Today the UK remains a critically important market, supplier base and a source of some of the world’s most innovative technology partners.