An aviation business set up by Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickenson has secured a £5 million investment from a group of backers including Finance Wales.
Cardiff Aviation has netted £5 million of equity support from Finance Wales and private backers less than a year after it was founded.
Set up by Bruce Dickenson, vocalist with rock band Iron Maiden, and Mario Fulgoni in July 2012, Cardiff Aviation is an aircraft maintenance and flight training business.
Investment in the business has come in the form of £1.6 million from Finance Wales, a subsidiary of the Welsh government. The remainder is being provided by private, or privately-owned investors, including Dickenson and Fulgoni.
Dickenson comments, ‘The Welsh government has played a fantastic role in a difficult economic environment in providing tremendous support and enthusiasm.
‘Finance Wales’ long-term backing is the fuel not just to put St Athan on the map, but has the potential to create a consequently much wider impact across the entire South Wales aerospace industry.’
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Cardiff Aviation’s Twin Peaks headquarters is part of the Welsh government’s St Athan-Cardiff Airport Enterprise Zone, which currently houses large aerospace and defence companies.
The new investment, Fulgoni says, will allow Cardiff Aviation to expand its senior management team as well as establish European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Part 21 Design Approval – which would give it maintenance and operation approvals and certification.
He adds, ‘This means Cardiff Aviation will be permitted to manufacture and certify aircraft parts alongside our maintenance and training operations, thereby providing us with a full opportunity to exploit the range of technical equipment and expertise we acquired in taking over Twin Peaks from the RAF, and in establishing Cardiff Aviation.’
According to an interview with The Daily Telegraph earlier in June, Dickenson’s Cardiff Aviation is currently employing between 60 and 70 people and is paying them out of profits. The Iron Maiden vocalist, who is a 7,000 hour Boeing 757 pilot, has also seen his entrepreneurial activities take him into the beer making world as well as a fencing equipment brand.
Jeff Cuthbert, deputy minister for skills and technology, says, ‘This latest development is excellent news and will open up exciting new growth opportunities for Cardiff Aviation and expand their capability.
‘The aerospace industry operates within one of our key economic sectors so I am delighted to hear of this latest investment which also sends out a strong message of confidence in the St Athan-Cardiff Airport Enterprise Zone.’
The investment from Finance Wales comes from its £150 million Wales JEREMIE Fund.