Annual dinner entertains 135 guests at Birmingham's magnificent Council House
Hot on the heels of celebrating ten years of new aerospace technologies, the MAA took the opportunity to focus on the key challenges ahead for the sector as it helps drive the Midlands Engine. Held at Birmingham’s Council House on October 11, the black-tie event provided the perfect environment for the industry to network, share best practice and discuss the burning issues of the day.
Attendees ranged from manufacturers to service providers within the aerospace and defence sectors. They were treated to a champagne reception and four course meal. The keynote speaker, Sir John Peace, gave an insightful speech about the key contribution the aerospace sector makes to the regional economy. He boasts a long and distinguished business career at the highest levels covering the technology, financial services and retail sectors. As Chairman of the Midlands Engine and Midlands Connect, Sir John spoke about the importance of the industry in driving growth within the context of the global economy.
He also updated the audience on the work being carried out with the government to make the region an attractive place to live and work. The Midlands Engine is fired up to improve productivity, attract inward investment, increase connectivity and build a regional tourism offer. If the Midlands region matches the predicted growth rate for the UK over the next 15 years, it could create 300,000 jobs and boost the national economy by £34 billion. The aerospace sector will play a pivotal role in ensuring the region lives up to its potential.
Over the course of the evening, guests also heard from distinguished aviation commentator and broadcaster. Seán Maffett, a former Squadron Leader in the Royal Air Force, Seán has had a successful broadcasting career and is the award-winning voice of more than 200 air show displays over the years, including RIAT, Farnborough and Dubai. He entertained MAA’s guests by talking about his life in the RAF and the air force’s 100-year anniversary.
Attendees took the opportunity to meet old friends and form new relationships across the industry in a warm convivial atmosphere. Brilliant magician Nick Einhorn wowed guests with close tricks at the reception and -- amongst other wonders -- by reading their minds after dinner.
The dinner’s raffle raised £1500 for Once We Were Soldiers, the Midlands Charity that looks after homeless veterans.
Andrew Mair, Chief Executive of the Midlands Aerospace Alliance, said: “This is the second year we’ve held our annual dinner and it proved a huge success. There is so much activity in and around the Midlands’ aerospace sector and there’s plenty to be proud of. We’ve just landed from Farnborough, which was as inspiring and exhilarating as ever. This year we held our first ever MAA Awards for Excellence, and we’ve recently celebrated ten years of new technologies throughout every tier of the aerospace industry.”
Meanwhile, the latest MAA Survey revealed that turnover within the Midlands aerospace market has risen by 20% over the last two years and business turnover and employment has doubled. Over the last 12 months the MAA has played its part by helping more than 50 companies access support and £8million in funding to bring new technologies to market.
We look forward to seeing you all to celebrate our Midlands aerospace industry at next year’s dinner! Companies interested in attending or sponsoring next year’s dinner, please do not hesitate to contact Anne Esterson on 02476 430250.