YEOVIL MP David Laws has said that new investment from the Government at Yeovil-based AgustaWestland will lead to more jobs for the South Somerset area.

He visited AgustaWestland in Yeovil this morning to congratulate management and staff on securing £46m of Government investment to boost the company’s work.

The multi-million pound investment announced today will sustain thousands of jobs as part of three new projects to be based in Yeovil.

The funding package from the Coalition Government will be added to additional investments made by Agusta Westland, with the result that more than £100m will be directed to the projects in Yeovil.

The work, on civil helicopter programmes, is expected to sustain and create thousands of jobs within the next decade. Today’s announcement confirmed the success of Agusta Westland’s bids for investment as part of the Government’s Regional Growth Fund.

The funding, expected to be worth up to £46m over three years, will pay for three new projects to research, design and manufacture aircraft at the company’s Yeovil base.

Mr Laws said: “This is wonderful news for Agusta Westland and for the economy of Yeovil and South Somerset. This is a real game-changer for Yeovil – and is one of the most important announcements made during my eleven years as MP for Yeovil.

"Agusta Westland has done incredibly well to secure the largest amount of money from the Regional Growth Fund of any successful bidder in South West England. In addition, the company’s investment from the Government is the third largest in England in today’s announcement of the latest RGF tranche.

"I would like to congratulate all those at the company who worked on this bid, and indeed all employees of the company who work in Yeovil.

“Agusta Westland is already one of the world’s top defence aerospace companies, and now we have a real chance to create a massive new civil helicopter business for Somerset and for Britain.”