Advanced Engineering & Aerospace

Somerset is home to some of the best known advanced engineering and aerospace companies in the country, with South Somerset boasting the biggest cluster of companies in these industries in the South West, including:

  • Aerosystems International
  • AgustaWestland
  • Ariel Motor Company
  • Honeywell Aerospace UK
  • Numatic International (makers of the 'Henry' vacuums)


The UK has the second largest aerospace industry in the world after the US, with over 3,000 companies employing about 230,000 people. It’s expected to grow at a rate of 6.8% over the next few years meaning opportunities for overseas investment. The UK’s civil aerospace sector conducts a lot of research and development (R&D) and investment can help increase productivity and create new jobs for the future. Locating your business in Somerset makes sense if you want to tap into the expertise and the supply chains that already exist in the County.

Around 9,500 people are employed in Somerset’s first-rate advanced engineering and aerospace industries and there is worldwide demand for the county’s technical, engineering and logistical expertise in these fields. A highly skilled workforce and exacting standards make Somerset a natural location for engineering companies looking to relocate or expand.

Somerset benefits from its proximity to key Ministry of Defence bases such as Yeovilton, Abbey Wood and Portsmouth, with Somerset companies already handling a number of large MOD contracts. Somerset partners are involved and support the iAero activity across the wider sub-region:

  1. 14 of the largest global aerospace corporations and 800 of their supply chain companies operate within the South West.
  2. iAero is a collaboration between the region's leading aerospace players to deliver a regional platform for innovation and growth.
  3. A regional delivery mechanism for the UK Aerospace Growth Partnership strategy for technology, skills development, supply chain competitiveness and manufacturing capability.
  4. Over 27,000 highly skilled engineers and operatives adding value within the South West.
  5. Supported by the UK Goverment's High Value Manufacturing Catapult through the National Composites Centre.

The complementary skills and existing supply chain resources that come from other key sectors in the county, such as nuclear power and renewable energy, reinforce the strength of Somerset’s network of professional expertise and technical know-how.

The South Coast Marine Cluster is a network of the UK’s leading marine industry partners, with a rich maritime heritage, hundreds of kilometres of coastline, 32 world-renowned universities and research institutions and a large and growing network of sector-leading, innovative marine companies. A number of Somerset companies are active partners.

Case Studies

Gooch and Housego

Gooch and Housego

International award-winning company with eight manufacturing facilities around the world, including its Somerset headquarters, where it started trading in 1948.

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Numatic International

Numatic International

The company that is now famous for the Henry vacuum cleaner launched in 1969 with just a few staff. Today, it has 800 employees

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Ariel Motor Company

Ariel Motor Company

The Ariel Atom Motor car, designed and built in Crewkerne, Somerset, is the fastest aceelerating motor car in the world.

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Leonardo (formerly AgustaWestland) - Yeovil

Leonardo (formerly AgustaWestland) - Yeovil

Leonardo (formerly Agusta Westland), based in Yeovil, is one of the world's leading helicopter manufacturers. The company is a key employer in the South West's high-tech engineering sector.

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Singer Instruments

Singer Instruments

Singer Instruments is an example of a high tech, high value company successfully operating within a National Park. The company has been located in the Exmoor village of Roadwater for over 30 years and now employs over 20 people designing and manufacturing laboratory robotics for cancer research, exporting to over 60 countries across the globe.

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Haley Engineering

Haley Engineering

William Haley Engineering was founded in 1986 and is part of the Haley Group; a family owned business and is one of the most advanced steelwork manufacturers in the country. Using a state-of-the-art manufacturing process, the company produces steel structures for a huge range of buildings in a variety of business sectors.

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Probiotics International

Probiotics International

Dedicated to producing innovative research based products of the highest quality for animals and humans, Probiotics Int Ltd (Protexin) was founded in 1992 with Managing Director Toby Lewis at the helm. Born and bred in Somerset he wanted to stay in this beautiful part of the world and moved to premises in Stoke sub Hamdon.

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RIGID Containers

RIGID Containers

With over a 100 years of history in the corrugated cardboard manufacturing industry RIGID containers is able to provide cost-effective packaging solutions to an array of customers in virtually all sectors.

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Yeovil Innovation Centre

Yeovil Innovation Centre

Flexible, vibrant, supportive office space in Yeovil: for businesses looking to grow and thrive.

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