Eleven aerospace cluster firms visit Poland on first joint aerospace sector trade mission

Eleven of the Midlands’ aerospace cluster fastest -growing SMEs visited Rzeszow, Poland, for a trade mission from 16-19 April organised by Santander UK and the Midlands Aerospace Alliance.

The firms undertook a series of visits to local factories, potential partners and held meetings with buyers and distributors with a view to exporting to Poland or establishing in Poland and capitalising on the UK’s strong trading relationship with the country. The trade mission was run in partnership with Bank Zachodni WBK (part of Santander Group), Aviation Valley Association (Poland’s largest aerospace cluster association) and Altios International (the global advisory firm) in Poland.

The companies that attended the trip were Coaching for Change Ltd., ATA Group, Pattonair Poland, CG Tech Ltd., Enventive Engineering, Ronaldsway Aircraft Company Ltd., Therser (UK) Ltd., VBC Group, Wallwork Heat Treatment Ltd, MetLase Ltd and Poeton Industries Ltd. The initiative is part of Santander UK’s regular series of international trade missions across a range of UK sectors that are aimed at helping businesses enter new overseas markets and capitalise on trade and investment opportunities.

While in Poland the firms attended visits to four factories: Pratt and Whitney Rzeszow, Bodycote Polska Aerospace Defence and Energy, Aero Gearbox International and Poeton Polska. They also took part in a networking reception with Aviation Valley officials and members; Bank Zachodni WBK officials, customers and potential customers.

Poland was chosen as the destination for the aerospace trade mission due to its growing aerospace industry and over 100-year history in the sector. Rzeszow has the largest aerospace cluster within Poland and the Polish aerospace industry has over 200 companies producing in excess of €1.3 billion in annual revenues.

As well as being able to support businesses locally through a network of Corporate Business Centres and specialists in the UK, Santander has a strong international presence thanks to its extensive global network in 10 major markets and more than 12,000 branches worldwide and a network of international alliance partners.

Barrie Kilfeather, International & Working Capital Director Santander Corporate & Commercial said: “Santander is delighted to have worked with the Midlands Aerospace Alliance to support these 11 businesses as they target international expansion. Working alongside our colleagues at Bank Zachodni WBK, the trade mission has provided us with an excellent opportunity to demonstrate our in-country capabilities in Poland and help connect UK business with Aerospace industry. Santander’s deep local, and broad global footprint provides unparalleled market knowledge that we deploy on these trade missions, ensuring customers are best-equipped with the country-specific and financial “know-how” that they need.

“The Trade Mission demonstrated to our delegation the very modern and up-to-date facilities that exist in Poland; and the highly trained and educated workforce, as a result of an education system that is aligned to the needs of the manufacturing sector.”

Andrew Mair, Chief Executive, Midlands Aerospace Alliance said: “Working closely with Santander and Aviation Valley our delegation was able to see first-hand - and meet the key people behind - the tremendous investments currently being made in the aerospace industry in south eastern Poland to make the region a rapidly growing global centre of excellence for engine gearboxes, auxiliary power units (APUs) and much else besides.”

Helping SMEs to export is a core priority for Santander. The bank's trade missions are unique in the wider SME banking market – Santander regularly and proactively gets UK firms out to markets to meet buyers and network with key stakeholders. Previous trade missions have covered Mexico, China, Chile, Argentina, the US, Spain and the United Arab Emirates.

UK firms interested in intending future trade missions should visit our website www.santandercb.co.uk or contact International@santander.co.uk.

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Notes to Editors

More information about the businesses who participated on the Trade Mission is included here:

Coaching for Change 
Coaching for change is a specialist consultancy provider for the aerospace and defence industry. They advise and coach on supply chain improvements, performance, organisation, design and solutions. They also provide coaching, training and mentoring for businesses and individuals in the areas of continuous improvement, helping to significantly reduce costs whilst sustaining performance.

ATA Group
ATA Group is a leading global manufacturer of precision engineering products and solutions. They design, manufacture and distribute the most comprehensive and advanced range of tungsten carbide burs, pneumatic tools and abrasives – both bespoke and standard.

Pattonair is a global aerospace and defence supply chain service provider with over 40 years of experience in the industry. They are positioned in the middle between producers and end users and offer bespoke supply chain management expertise to improve efficiency.

CG Tech Ltd
CG Tech Ltd is a European subsidiary of a US based software company and prepares software that is part of the CAD process change to increase productivity and reduce costs. The business specialises in numerical control simulation, verification, optimisation and analysis software technology for manufacturing.

Enventive Engineering 
Enventive Engineering is the European arm of a privately held Delaware corporation committed to providing mechanical engineers with a software infrastructure supporting collaborative component-level and system-level organisation, synthesis, analysis and optimisation of product functional information.

Ronaldson Aircraft Company Ltd
RLC Engineering Group is a world class provider of components and services to the Aerospace industry. RLC creates manufacturing and supply chain solutions and is a manufacturer of high precision machined details and aircraft sub-assemblies.

Therser (UK) Limited 
Therser UK Limited is a manufacturer of kilns, furnaces, driers and heat treatment equipment, RTO and associated automation. They also provide spares, repair division and relocation.

VB Group
VBC Group is a global supplier of premium quality welding wire and brazing alloys and associated products into high-tech and quality critical applications and industries such as aerospace, industrial gas turbines, electronic imaging components and emerging technologies.

Wallwork Heat Treatment Ltd
Wallwork Heat Treatment provides a comprehensive heat treatment and hard coating service to the manufacturing industry, including aerospace approved heat treatment vacuum brazing and coating.

MetLase Ltd
mechanical engineering consultancy whose technology-based approach and patented tooling techniques allow it to design and manufacture bespoke engineering solutions with speed and precision. The company is a joint venture between Rolls-Royce and Unipart. Using precise laser-cutting methodology and press-brake material forming, MetLase can design and produce simple and complex tooling, fixturing and components for a wide range of industries.

Poeton Industries Ltd
Poeton Industries Ltd is one of the UK’s foremost experts in surface engineering, providing a complete range of surface treatments and coatings to customers worldwide.

About Us

Santander UK is a financial services provider in the UK that offers a wide range of personal and commercial financial products and services. It has brought real competition to the UK, through its innovative products for retail customers and relationship banking model for UK SMEs. At 31 March 2018, the bank has c19,500 employees. It serves around 14 million active customers, via a nationwide branch network, telephone, mobile and online banking; and 64 regional Corporate Business Centres. Santander UK is subject to the full supervision of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) in the UK. Santander UK plc customers are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in the UK.

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To help boost trade across the globe, Santander has an International Desk in each of the markets it operates in, dedicated to helping customers who want to grow their business overseas. With a particular strength in Latin America, the bank operates in Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Peru, and Puerto Rico. Our Latin American network includes more than 6,000 branches.

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