Page last updated at 16:21 GMT, Sunday, 13 July 2008 17:21 UK

Plane maker invests 500m in NI

Michael Ryan of Bombardier, Arlene Foster, Shaun Woodward, and Guy Hachey, Bombardier CEO
The investment was announced ahead of Farnborough air show

Bombardier Aerospace is investing half a billion pounds in Northern Ireland, which will sustain over 800 jobs.

A total of 519.4m will be used to design and manufacture wings for their 110 to 130 seat C-Series aircraft at the Shorts factory in east Belfast.

It is the largest single investment in Northern Ireland by any company.

Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson said: "I don't believe this would have happened if it hadn't been for devolution."

He added: "I just know, without giving away too many of the commercial issues involved, that this simply would not have happened if there had not been devolved institutions in Northern Ireland."

Mr Robinson said he and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness had been working on the deal "almost on a daily basis for these past months".

The government has also agreed to provide 52m to the project at Bombardier's east Belfast plant as part of a wider 155m government investment package in the Canadian firm.

Bombardier C-Series
Bombardier CSeries
Costs US$46.7m each
Seats 110 to 130 passengers
Expected to enter service in 2013
"Greenest aircraft in its class," Bombardier says
Wings manufactured in Belfast

Mr McGuinness said: "The investment will also see the development of state of the art technology as well as developing the manufacturing and engineering skills of our workforce that will benefit our economy for years to come."

Economy Minister Arlene Foster said: "Undoubtedly, the expertise in advanced design and innovative composite materials which Bombardier has developed in Belfast has been instrumental to today's decision."

Northern Ireland Secretary Shaun Woodward said the decision was proof that "devolution is winning for Northern Ireland".

Announcing the investment on the eve of the Farnborough air show, Bombardier said greener fuel-efficient technology used in the C-Series would "revolutionise" the 100 to 149 seater market.

The long-running project was dropped two years ago, but the Canadian aerospace firm resurrected it last year amid amid rising fuel costs globally.

Lufthansa has provisionally ordered 30 planes with an option for 30 more.

70m investment for Bombardier
07 May 08 |  Northern Ireland
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28 Nov 07 |  Northern Ireland
Shorts redundancies take effect
24 Jan 07 |  Northern Ireland
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24 Oct 06 |  Northern Ireland

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