Boosting local and regional aerospace clusters

A conference for local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) and regional aerospace alliances (RAAs)

A conference for local enterprise partnerships (LEPs)

and regional aerospace alliances (RAAs)


GTG Training, Wolverhampton WV11 3SZ

09:30 - 16:30

The Midlands Aerospace Alliance and Wolverhampton City Council are hosting this conference on behalf of the RAA and LEP communities across England.


National policy

Since 2010 the UK has seen a big focus on new industrial policies at the national level on the one hand, and new frameworks for local economic growth in England on the other. The aerospace sector has been a major focus of new national industrial policy, as developed by a top-level industry-government group, the Aerospace Growth Partnership. Headline AGP actions include the £2bn Aerospace Technology Institute, the £40m AMSCI-funded National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme, and a new £29m aerospace skills programme.

Local plans

Meanwhile, the new Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) have been developing their own Strategic Economic Plans focused on creating local growth via investments in infrastructures, skills and innovation. With aerospace an important sector across many parts of the country as well as a focus of national attention, local aerospace clusters have been explicitly recognised as a strategic focus by more than one in three LEPs, with many others also having a direct interest through their plans for more broadly defined engineering/ manufacturing sectors.

Regional clusters

The organisational structure of the UK aerospace industry includes both a major national representative trade association, ADS, and independent regional aerospace alliances (RAAs) that are federated to ADS. England has four RAAs which represent more than 1,000 supply chain companies:

  • Farnborough Aerospace Consortium covering the south east
  • West of England Aerospace Forum covering the south west
  • Midlands Aerospace Alliance covering the east and west midlands
  • North West Aerospace Alliance covering the north west 

Aerospace companies located outside these regional clusters are often members of one of these four, and/or of ADS.

The RAAs are the industry’s key link between the national and the local. They are full participants in the AGP. The ADS/RAAs federation delivers NATEP and is part of the delivery team for the new skills programme.

Boosting local and regional aerospace clusters?

Now is an ideal time to take stock of these developments make sure aerospace companies and employees in all local and regional aerospace clusters are fully benefitting from well-targeted support that is delivered effectively. This conference will help us address questions like these:

  1. How can LEPs deliver the most effective support for their local aerospace companies and employees? 
  2. How should the RAAs best support the LEPs? 
  3. How can the LEPs in turn help the RAAs support their local member organisations? 
  4. How should the LEPs support the RAAs in the delivery of NATEP and the new skills programme? 
  5. How do we get “joined up” across LEPs? - best practice sharing? common support programmes across LEPs? other . . .? 

Draft agenda

Registration, refreshments and networking 09:30

Session 1: Plenary 10:00

  1. The Aerospace Growth Partnership
  2. The ADS/RAAs federation and how it works.
  3. The LEP framework
  4. AGP delivery programmes:
    • ATI
    • NATEP
    • Supply Chain/SiG
    • Aero IP/skills
  5. LEPs and aerospace


Refreshments 11:30

Session 2: Breakouts 11:45

Four parallel regional break-out sessions, each with the relevant RAA plus LEPs from that region:

  • Midlands
  • North West 
  • South East
  • South West

(LEPs from any other regions eg East of England, Yorkshire to join with continuous region of choice.)

Mini agendas

  • Each RAA makes presentation about aerospace in its region and about activities of the RAA.
  • Each LEP representative discusses their role (roundtable format)
  • Discussion: how the RAAs and LEPs can work together
  • All answer a fixed set of questions in preparation for Plenary 2

Lunch to be taken in middle of Session 2 Breakouts, 12:30 to 13:30, which then reconvene 

Session 3: Plenary 14:30

Each region reports back for 15 minutes.

Co-chairs summarise the day and give perspectives on way forward.

Close and refreshments: 16:00 - 16:30


The venue

For venue location details click here. The venue is a few minutes by taxi from Wolverhampton Station, close to M6 Junction 11 just north of Birmingham.

Who should attend?

This event is a high-level policy conference for those playing formal leadership roles in RAAs and LEPs. We recognise and welcome that representatives of LEPs may come from a variety of organisations.

When prompted, please state in what capacity the delegate represents an RAA or LEP.

Book your place here