GKN has announced an £11 million investment in its East Cowes site over the next two years.

The site has been a fixture on the IW for 100 years and it has been owned by GKN Aerospace for the past 25 years. The company said it was committed to remaining on the Island for decades to come.

In order to focus the site on advanced composite production, a number of non-core processes and some loss-making work will leave the site — but GKN said it is not looking at job losses as new specialist work packages will come in.

Garry Hernes, general manager of the facility, said: “This £11 million investment is great news for the site. It will help us focus on the complex and specialist work we are really good at, and ensure we are fit for the future.

“It will also mean the IW retains its place at the forefront of advanced aerospace systems and that GKN Aerospace will continue to underpin the Island’s economy and employment for years to come.”

GKN Aerospace also confirmed it will transform its Composite Research Centre (CRC) on the Island into a Technology Insertion Centre (TIC), in order to speed up the time from technology breakthroughs to high-rate production.

The TIC will ensure the latest composite technology developments — drawn from GKN Aerospace’s network of global technology centres — are smoothly integrated into the East Cowes manufacturing site, allowing it to offer unique solutions for its customers.

Mr Hernes said: “The global aerospace industry is highly competitive, with customers always looking for price reductions and the rates on some key platforms declining.

“This puts real pressure on sites like East Cowes and we need to make sure we are ready for the next 25 years and more.

Mr Hernes said: “Being able to take the best technology from GKN Aerospace’s global footprint, and then smoothly integrating it into our complex manufacturing environment here in East Cowes can set us apart and put us in a great position to not just survive, but to thrive and grow.”

“Combined, these changes will ensure our East Cowes site is better able to serve our customers today and will position us to succeed for the long-term.”

Globally, GKN Aerospace has 50 sites in 15 countries, employing 17,000 around the world, around 1,000 of which are based on the IW.

It is the largest private employer on the IW.

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