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Aerospace and defence companies gather for prestigious Midlands event

Over 200 guests from across the supply chain enjoy the MAA black-tie dinner

MAA annual dinner 2023

The ballroom awaits the guests

Aerospace and defence companies gathered at the Grand Hotel in Birmingham for our 6th annual black-tie dinner on 21 September, sponsored by Farsound.

Over 200 guests joined the sell-out event from over 80 companies including Rolls-Royce, Parker Meggitt, Moog, ITP Aero UK and Collins Aerospace as well as SMEs from every tier of the industry.

The event was buzzing from the moment the doors opened, especially during the Champagne drinks reception - which was sponsored by Beagle Aircraft and Nasmyth. Guests took the opportunity to catch up with industry peers, make new connections and grow their networks.

Alongside many familiar industry friends, it was great to welcome 8 member companies that joined the MAA since last year’s dinner, including Aerotech Laboratories, Ankit Aerospace, Expleo Engineering, FMT Aerospace, Farsound, Gowling WLG, Metrology Software Products and The Launch Strategist.

The upbeat atmosphere then continued in the spectacular ballroom, where guests were welcomed by MAA Chair of the Board, Alan Dunbar, before being treated to a three-course dinner.

The keynote speech this year was given by MAA Chief Executive, Andrew Mair, gave a speech emphasising the impressive scale of the aerospace sector in the Midlands, which makes up 20% of the UK industry. According to research by the Midlands Engine and MAA, there are over 500 high-value companies in the cluster which have created 37,000 direct and 100,000 indirect jobs.

In terms of short-term industry growth, Andrew highlighted the recovery of build rates on existing aircraft programmes; opportunities to win business from competitors; and take advantage of work packages coming back to the UK due to environmental sustainability and supply resilience goals.

Andrew also talked about the importance of investing in technology to ensure long-term success, in particular in greener aircraft technologies that will be vital to be positioned on future programmes. Every company in the supply chain can be part of making flying more sustainable for the world.

Toward the end of the evening, the charity raffle offered a selection of great prizes and, thanks to the generosity of guests, an incredible £2,930 was raised for Aerobility, which provides the disabled community with access to the magic and wonder of flight.

Thank you to all the companies that donated prizes, including AR Procurement Services, ASG Group, Beagle Aircraft, CCR Forming, Darchem Engineering, Farsound, FMT Aerospace, Independent Forgings and Alloys Ltd, ITP Aero, Logistics World, MJ Sections, Moog Aircraft, Sigma, and Spitfire Consulting.

The main event closed with entertainment from The Bavarian Boyz, after which the networking continued, with conversations for some continuing into the early hours. We’re delighted that the event was, once again, a great success.

It was great to see social media lighting up for days after the event with photos and comments from attendees who shared their best moments from the evening.

The black-tie dinner “was an evening filled with enriching conversations and insights into the aerospace industry. The passion and commitment witnessed were truly inspiring, and it was a pleasure to connect with fellow industry enthusiasts and leaders.” - Luca Garza, Collins Aerospace

“I was privileged to spend the evening listening to really insightful speeches, all whilst eating a spectacular three course meal. It's always great to spend time in the company of people who are working within the aerospace sector.” - Matt Pallet, CoMech Metrology

“We had a brilliant evening at the dinner. It was great to catch up with all of our colleagues and make new contacts. Many thanks again to the brilliant MAA team for making this happen.” - Southwest Metal Finishing

Champagne receptionAndrew Mair greeting guests

Networking champagne receptionNetworking at the Champagne drinks reception

Champagne receptionCheers!


Full dining roomFull dining room

Andrew Mair's speechKeynote speech 

Guests enjoying the speechesGuests enjoying the speeches 


Table of guestsEnjoying the evening 

Table of guestsNetworking over dinner

After dinner entertainmentThe entertainment in full swing 


Raffle prize winnersHappy raffle prize winners

Raffle prize winnerJonathan Medhurst won the Lego Concorde Smile

The ITP Aero UK teamThe ITP Aero UK team