June 2024: News from MP Jack Lopresti

ONE of my top priorities as your Member of Parliament is to promote local job and apprenticeship opportunities in our aerospace and defence industry.

I am proud to represent and area which is part of the largest defence and aerospace manufacturing hub in Europe.

The defence sector alone in our area employs around 30,000 people. Furthermore, the UK will increase defence spending to 2.5% by 2030, amounting to an additional £75 billion over six years – the largest Natodefence budget in Europe and the largest defence spending increase since the Cold War.

Further to that, Nato expects at least 20% of defence spending to go toward the development of new military technologies and equipment, with scope for related investment and more jobs in our area.

I recently had the pleasure of opening the new headquarters of Boeing Defence UK in the Bristol Business Park in Stoke Gifford, which employs 700 people locally in the defence sector.

It’s fantastic to see Boeing continue to expand its footprint in our area.

From my own experience on operational deployments, I know equipment like Boeing’s Chinook and Apache make a life-saving and battle-winning difference.

This growing presence means more opportunities for local employment, including apprenticeships and other early career roles, for those who will build the future of aerospace and defence manufacturing right here in our own area.

It was an honour to welcome Defence Secretary Grant Shapps to DE&S Abbey Wood, where we met with excellent apprentices, Alice Bennet, Ryan Mills, Jason Venning and others. We saw a very impressive display, which included leading edge drone technology and stands from local defence manufacturers such as MBDA UK, all of which are not only helping to protect our own defence capability and national security but are also making a vital contribution to help our Ukrainian friends to expel the Russians out of their country.

The secretary of State and I also discussed our country’s increasing contribution to the Ukrainian war effort and record defence spending here and his pledge to increase it even more.

In other news, I was delighted to visit Mrs Shepherd and year 5 who invited me to Holy Trinity Primary School in Bradley Stoke. I enjoyed meeting them all and we discussed Parliament, politics generally and the pupils asked some great questions.

Educating the next generation is so important. That’s why I am delighted at the news of the building of a primary and a secondary school in Lyde Green, which will provide much-needed schools in that area, which so many local children can attend. 

Over the May Day bank holiday weekend, I attended the Navarati Festival of Dance at Filton Folk Centre, organised by the Bristol Hindu Youth Forum on the Saturday night – a wonderful evening! On the Monday, it was fantastic to be at Winterbourne Down Village Carnival.

As always, should you need my help with anything, my office is open from Monday to Friday between 9am and 6pm.

Please telephone me on 01454 617783 or email me at jack.lopresti.mp@parliament.uk if I can be of any assistance or to book a surgery.