Luton defence firm hailed for injecting £123m into local economy
A Luton defence firm has been praised for its £123m contribution to the region's economy, as well as supporting 1,000 jobs in the town.
Shadow armed forces minister Stephen Morgan visited Luton this week to meet with bosses at defence firm Leonardo.
The company employs over 1,000 people at its site in Capability Green, commanding an 8% share of jobs in Luton’s manufacturing sector.
Mr Morgan sat down with Leonardo's aerospace, defence and security teams to discuss the £123m boost the firm gives to the area.
The shadow minister said: “It was fantastic to visit Leonardo to hear more about its work to support Luton during the pandemic and it's wider contribution to the local economy."
Leonardo has produced award-winning apprentices and manufactured personal protective equipment (PPE) during the pandemic. The firm has also lobbied for more women to enter science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers.
Mr Morgan was accompanied on his visit by Luton Borough Council leader, Cllr Hazel Simmons, and Luton South MP Rachel Hopkins.
Cllr Simmons said: “I am really proud of the positive relationship that Luton Council has built with Leonardo.
“Their well-developed apprenticeship scheme attracts young people from across the borough, and it was great to meet with executives to learn more about how we can boost highly-skilled, well-paid jobs here in Luton.
"These are the jobs that will help Luton bounce back after Covid.”
Luton South MP Rachel Hopkins added: “Leonardo is an important part of Luton’s manufacturing sector, and it was positive to hear about their apprenticeship schemes, support for women in STEM, and how they moved into making PPE to help tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
"Luton’s recovery must have good, well-paid jobs at its heart. Labour is committed to working with trade unions and businesses to help rebuild our economy.”