A new £1 million composite development centre at Senior Aerospace BWT in Adlington has been opened by Macclesfield MP David Rutley.

Dedicated to composite research and development, the new centre will play an innovative role in producing the next generation of composite products and will underpin Senior Aerospace BWT’s ambitious growth plans.

Said Senior Aerospace BWT chief executive officer Darren Butterworth: “This significant investment is part of our continued commitment to innovation and business growth which will help maintain BWT’s position as a world leader in the design and manufacture of lightweight low pressure air distribution ducting systems for aircraft.

“We have been preparing for the opening for over 12 months. It has involved extensive specific training for a core team of engineering specialists who are now progressing with the R&D work.”

Mr Rutley, who is Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP, Secretary of State for the Home Department, also toured the 5120m2 Adlington production facility, seeing the latest technology and meeting skilled staff. With 95% of its annual turnover being exported, Senior BWT employs 400 people, making it one of the leading employers in the Macclesfield borough.

MP David Rutley visits Senior BWT

Senior BWT has also just started work on the government-funded Sharing in Growth programme to support its growth ambitions.

Continued Mr Butterworth: “Throughout our 180 years of trading we have continued to evolve, embrace change and drive improvements. Despite being on site for only four weeks the SIG team have already made an impact and, as CEO, I cannot wait to see the benefits being delivered over the next four years.”

The new composites development centre will focus on dry fibre composite preforms which are being developed to reduce cost, weight, cycle times, and environmental impact (waste and emissions) which are critical in the aerospace market.

The facility comprises of two main functional areas: textiles and process. The textiles room houses a state of the art textile manufacturing machine that allows BWT to develop and produce novel composite preforms in a wide variety of materials, and incorporating complex geometry and features.  The process room is a flexible manufacturing area designed to support the fast changing environment that composite R&D demands.  The area is provided with climate control, state of the art composites processing oven, material handling equipment, and fume and dust extraction.