James Pinchbeck, Marketing Partner at Streets Chartered Accountants discusses the importance of the Red Arrows.
The significant contribution the Red Arrows make to the UK economy is widely known, with tours, displays and engagement often a key part of international trade promotions and negotiations. Yet few have probably considered the positive impact they have on the prosperity of their home base in Greater Lincolnshire.
The team are superb ambassadors for the county, and wherever they go in the world they raise the profile of Lincolnshire and the Midlands. A visit to, or a flypast by the Reds is often key to developing inward investment and trade deals for the growing number of businesses looking for overseas trade deals and export, along with those looking to locate in the region.
In particular, their presence has played a significant part in the investment messages and growth of the aviation, aeronautical and defence sector in the area. Many key defence sector companies are based in the county including AAR, Raytheon, Leonardo, Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems, Babcock and Park Air Systems. MMB Minebea in Lincoln is also part of the Red Arrows supply chain, making the bearings for the Hawk jet.
The Reds too are symbolic of the county’s engineering prowess old and new, which today includes not only multinationals such as Siemens, Dynex, Fenner Dawson and Bifrangi, but many new and long-established pioneering and innovative businesses.
The presence and commitment of particularly aviation and aeronautical enterprises, along with that of the RAF, have also been a key part in the local skills agenda, leading to the establishment of an Air and Defence Career College in Lincoln and Stamford. These colleges provide employer-led, career-focused education and technical training for young people who want to join the forces or go into a career in the aviation industry.
Over the years, the Reds and their Blues have supported thousands of young people and hundreds of charities across the region, including the Education Business Partnership (EBP) and the Jon Egging Trust. Sharing a vision to inspire the next generation, The EBP and the Red Arrows have collaborated on projects to showcase the career opportunities in STEM and raise the aspirations of children and young people in Lincolnshire.
With events including STEM Day at RAF Scampton, The EBP and the Red Arrows teamed up to bring engineering giants including the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One team and Rolls Royce to the county to run workshops and interactive activities for almost 750 children over three years. Through such engagement the Reds and Blues have truly raised career aspirations and changed lives and have made a real and lasting impact on social mobility activities.
Since making Lincolnshire their home in 1983, the Reds have gained a fond place in the hearts of those that live and work in the county. Not only do they create a great sense of pride, but they have been instrumental in changing lives for the better and improving the economic prosperity of the region.
Whilst those across the region continue to make representation at the highest level to keep the Reds, support from all by signing the petition would be most welcome – https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/237293