Plans for a technology hub that could bring as many as 130 jobs to Yeovil's aerospace industry have been unveiled.
A planning application for the "iAero Centre" will be submitted by Stride Treglown on behalf of Somerset County Council. If approved, the hub will be located on the airfield of Leonardo and it is hoped it will strengthen Yeovil's reputation as a cornerstone of the aircraft industry in the South West,
The centre will provide a base for key players in the industry to work together and its location on the airfield will allow helicopters to land there
Speaking at a public consultation this afternoon, Richard Anderson, associate town planner at Stride Treglown, said: "This project will show that a centre like this can assist the aerospace industry.
"We are collaborating with Leonardo, but there are a whole host of other companies that will benefit from this project and we will be opening our doors to them.
"The plans are at a very early stage. The building has been designed to particularly reflect the aerospace industry and we are working with a host of potential partners, one of which is Leonardo."
David Woan, president of the Yeovil Chamber of Trade and Commerce, said: "I'm extremely excited about the whole project.
"It is a project that is going to bring investment and prevent skilled workers from leaving the town, which is important, particularly when the future of the manufacturing plant at Leonardo is uncertain after the loss of the Apache deal.
"This is something that will keep people in the town and keep the fundamental skills base here.
"The centre will be aerospace-specific, but there are other high-tech businesses in the town, particularly at the Yeovil Innovation Centre, and there is definite room for there to be a crossover between these businesses.
"There are only positives to this project and it's got the green light from me."
(16 August 2016)
The intention is for the application to be determined by the end of 2016
More detail on the proposals can be found here - note that the initial consultation period formally ended on 24 August 2016 but there will be further opportunities for commenting.