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Christchurch company looks to the future as it marks 50th anniversary

A Christchurch-based business celebrating its 50th anniversary this week (24 November 2006) has announced ambitious expansion plans.

Stony Lane-based Beagle Aircraft, a leading provider of aerospace component and repair solutions, has launched a recruitment drive with plans to increase its 85-strong workforce by 10 per cent over the next six months to meet increasing customer demand.

Beagle is also investing in training and new equipment through a major investment programme by new owners, private investment fund The Monksmead Partnership, which acquired the company in May 2006. The Partnership has already invested £500,000 in the company and is committed to continuing investment in the business's expansion.

"With both Beagle's manufacturing operation and our maintenance and repair business winning new customers, we are recruiting new staff and investing in new plant and equipment. This is allowing us to expand our manufacturing capacity, particularly, to continue to meet the growing demand for carbon fibre composite components." says Beagle Aircraft chairman Nick Theakston.

New work recently won by Beagle includes a deal with Labinal to supply parts for the Hawker 800XP and new work worth £400,000 to export Sea Harrier parts under licence from BAE Systems to India. The company has just received its first orders to supply aircraft spares to Dutch-based company Fokker Services.

Beagle has also formed a new partnership with US-based aircraft components distributor Broadwing Aviation to become its European supply arm supplying primarily Boeing and Airbus flying control surfaces to major aircraft operators across Europe.

Other new work includes a deal to work with Storm Aviation providing maintenance services. Beagle has also just received its first order from MK Airlines to supply components to their line of Boeing 747 aircraft.

Beagle produces a wide range of aircraft components, supporting leading manufacturers in the sector such as BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce. The company makes components for aircraft types such as the Harrier (including the GR7 and AV8B),Tornado and Hawk.

Key airline clients for the company's maintenance, repair and overhaul business include British Airways, First Choice and Thomson Fly.

Beagle's expansion plans have been announced as the company prepares to hold a special anniversary lunch for employees on Friday, 24 November, to mark the founding 50 years ago in Christchurch of C F Taylor (Metalworkers) Ltd - the business which later became Beagle.

C F Taylor (Metalworkers) Ltd took advantage of the south coast's growing aerospace industry with customers such as De Haviland, Airspeed, Folland and Vickers. Beagle Aircraft was acquired in 1970 and the business became part of Smiths Group in 2000 before it was acquired by the Monksmead Partnership in 2006.

Guests at the celebration lunch at the Lord Bute Hotel at Highcliffe will include Christchurch MP Christopher Chope, the Mayor and Mayoress of Christchurch, Cllr David Fox and Mrs Norma Fox. Also at the event will be Dr Robert Pleming of the Vulcan to the Sky project which has been set up to restore the last Avro Vulcan aircraft to leave RAF service. Specialists from Beagle have been involved in the restoration project repairing the Vulcan's flying control surfaces.

Press release issued by Beagle Aircraft Ltd on December 1, 2006


 Contact details from our directory:
Beagle Aircraft Ltd Metal Bonding, Fabricating Services, Aircraft Structural Components, Metal Structures, Stress Relieving


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