Expo will offer Swindon’s advanced engineering and aerospace firms chance to network again

September 26, 2021

Aerospace and advanced engineering businesses from the Swindon area are being urged to attend the first major networking event for the sector in the South West since the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions.

Organised by trade organisation the West of England Aerospace Forum (WEAF), SW Aerotech Expo will bring together keynote speakers, exhibitors and visitors while its networking zones will offer opportunities for large and small firms to re-establish business-to-business links. 

WEAF said the event, on October 7 at Yeovil’s Westlands Centre, will also provide a collaborative environment, bringing together industry heavyweights and those in the supply chains for the first time in more than 18 months.

The South West is home to one of the largest concentrations of aerospace and defence capabilities in Europe and boasts the UK’s biggest aerospace cluster.

It is home to 14 of the world’s leading organisations in the industries such as Airbus, Rolls Royce, GKN Aerospace, Leonardo Helicopters, Babcock and Honeywell.

The region’s supply chain also supports the MoD, helping maintain 30,000 jobs and contributing £4bn to the local economy.

SW Aerotech Expo will be separated into a several sessions covering topics such as:

  • Developments in sustainable aviation
  • Prospects for future UK aviation and VTOL programs
  • Digital capabilities for SMEs
  • SC21-supply chain capability enhancement 
  • Department of International Trade support.

WEAF CEO Colin Turner, pictured, said he believed the sector was ready for growth in the new zero emission technologies and was leading the way in sustainable aviation through WEAF members such as Vertical Aerospace, the Bristol-based behind the world-beating electric-powered ‘flying taxi’.

“WEAF will help highlight opportunities in emerging sustainable technologies by nurturing connections between SMEs and OEMs (original equipment manufacturers),” he said.

“Don’t miss out on an exceptional opportunity to network and celebrate getting back to normality.”

The boss of one WEAF member firm looking forward to attending is Peter Marchbank, managing director of Bath-based precision engineering firm RPI UK.

He said: “The chance to network face-to-face has been sorely missed and it will be great to see all the new WEAF members there.

“RPI has been a member of WEAF for six years and has always found its events a must-add to the diary – not only to meet key decision makers but also for advice and support with recruitment.”

RPI UK describes itself as a “leader in rotational innovation”. As well as designing and manufacturing innovative products for aerospace firms it also works with clients in the gas, academic and scientific research sectors. 

It has also worked with Bristol-based, four-times Oscar-winning animation studio Aardman for the past 20 years – creating rigs to hold the cameras for its acclaimed stop-motion productions.

WEAF, which was established in 2003, acts as the voice for the South West’s advanced aerospace, defence and engineering cluster.

There are a limited number of trade stands and pre-expo dinner tickets are remaining for SW Aerotech Expo. For more information, or to register as a delegate, visit WEAF’s Eventbrite


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