SCOTLAND’s aerospace industry is setting new records and is worth almost £2 billion to the country’s economy, according to a new report.

With 80 aerospace companies employing more than 7600 people in Scotland, deliveries last year were estimated to have given the economy a boost of up to £1.85bn, according to the study.

The report comes from the 1000-member ADS Group – the nationwide trade organisation for the aerospace, defence, security and space sectors – which said the aerospace sector achieved 1498 deliveries last year, a new record. Commercial aircraft orders in the pipeline stood at a record 14,312, which were expected to be worth up to £212bn across the UK in the coming years, and £13.5bn to the Scottish economy.

ADS said aircraft deliveries last year were worth up to £29bn to UK industry, while orders and deliveries in December provided an end-of-year surge that broke a series of industry records. A total of 213 deliveries in the last month of 2017 – the highest monthly figure of the year – took the overall yearly total to 1498, more than 50 aircraft ahead of the previous record of 1443 in 2016.

December also saw a new record being set for aircraft orders in any single month with 1226, which tool the overall backlog on global manufacturers’ books to 14,312, another record.

ADS said the aerospace industry had now seen seven consecutive years of rising delivery figures as demand for new aircraft continued to grow, and production rates increased to meet it. Last year’s new annual delivery record was driven by a six per cent rise in deliveries of single aisle aircraft. Paul Everitt, ADS chief executive, said: “International demand for new aircraft continues to rise and manufacturers are stepping up production to satisfy airline requirements for cleaner and more fuel-efficient planes.

“The aerospace industry here in Scotland is playing a vital role in this global industry, helping to produce some of the world’s most successful commercial aircraft. As the value of last year’s aircraft deliveries reaches up to £1.8bn in Scotland and £29bn in the whole of the UK, aerospace is spreading prosperity and creating high value jobs in communities in every part of the country.”

An SNP spokesperson said: “These figures demonstrate not just the success of Scotland’s thriving aerospace sector, but also the importance in making sure that the industry - with 80 aerospace companies in Scotland - is able to grow and expand.

“It’s vital that we continue to build on the seven consecutive years of rising delivery figures that is a massive boost to our economy, jobs market and confidence around the world that Scotland is at the forefront of delivering the very best.

“With the looming threat of Brexit, the UK government must make sure that it works with devolved governments across the UK, and set out clearly how it will protect aerospace companies in Scotland, which employ more than 7600 people and brought in an estimated £1.6bn last year.”