General Electric has decided to build a new facility for UK subsidiary Dowty Propellers in Gloucester.

The US manufacturer says it will additionally invest around £10 million ($13 million) in a technology project, to be pursued jointly by Dowty and UK-based partners, aimed at developing future propulsion technology.

Dowty's previous headquarters and blade manufacturing facility at Gloucester airport was destroyed in a fire in 2015, and the company has since been operating from an interim site near the UK city.

GE foresees a new facility "in the Gloucester area" becoming operational in 2019. Its precise location will be determined by year-end.

"The decision to stay in this area was driven by the capabilities and commitment of our workforce that stretches back over 80 years," states Dowty president Oliver Towers.

Dowty has a staff of 340 in the area.

The company's website indicates that Dowty manufactures propellers for the Bombardier Q400, China's Xian Aircraft MA700 and, in the military arena, the Alenia C-27J and Lockheed Martin C-130J transports.

Dowty will participate in a £20 million technology project – dubbed "Digital Propulsion" – to develop "capabilities for both propeller systems and future propulsion systems", GE says.

It adds the project is "match-funded" by the UK's Aerospace Technology Institute with a £9.5 million grant and is overseen by government-sponsored agency Innovate UK.

Other partners include the National Composites Centre, the University of Sheffield's Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, and the Manufacturing Technology Centre.

UK business minister Richard Harrington states: "Boosting innovation is a key part of our modern industrial strategy. That's why the government is supporting Dowty Propellers' new technology project, helping to secure investment and future export success."

Source: Cirium Dashboard