Leading aerospace innovation


Aerospace research, design and
innovation facility in Yeovil

The Vision

The iAero Innovation centre exists to support the economic development of aerospace and adjacent sectors. These form a high value employment sector in the region and hence remain of strategic importance. Additionally, iAero targets net-zero as a primary goal, which aligns with a core tenant of national and local government sustainability policy.

Based at the home of British helicopters in Yeovil Somerset, iAero is a strategic partnership between Somerset Council, the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership and Leonardo Helicopters, with additional funding from the European Regional Development Fund . It offers the opportunity for start-ups, SMEs, global original equipment manufacturers and other aerospace related industries to collaborate within an innovation space designed to be free from the restraints of normal industrial business-as-usual practices .

To enable and increase the benefit of any activity, iAero enables collaboration with academia, institutions and local government. This can improve the gearing ratio for project funding, competitiveness, upskilling and communication through the innovation eco-system. Importantly, working within iAero offers the chance for networking with likeminded individuals from a variety of organisations, specialisms and experience.

The South West of England represents by far the largest cluster of aerospace and related sector industries, capabilities, facilities and skills in the UK and the second largest in Europe.  Given the close connection to rotary-wing specialisms, yet with read-across into fixed-wing and now autonomous capabilities, the need to maintain a competitive edge in aerospace products and services is imperative.  iAero therefore looks to focus on the innovation aspects of design, development, test, certification and manufacture through the lens of five strategic pillars.

  1. Safety, Airworthiness and the Regulatory Environment
  2. Future Products and Capabilities
  3. Sustainable Aviation and Net Zero
  4. Factory of the Future and Competitiveness
  5. Future Skills

The iAero Strategic Partners strongly believe that achieving a leading edge in such pillars will maintain our aerospace heritage, drive technological advantage and deliver sustainable growth to the region.


in a nutshell

Play Video about The iAero Centre, Yeovil

Who Should be Interested in iAero

The Team

Austin Chick

Head of iAero

Leads the set up and initial development phase of the iAero centre, to deliver the iAero Centre’s vision and strategic objectives and maximise the added economic value of the centre to the regional aerospace sector and community.

Akshita Musande

iAero Operations Officer

Supporting the Head of iAero with centre operations, including operational planning, facilities support, tenant management, marketing, and events. Akshita helps to ensure that iAero runs smoothly so it can achieve its vision, objectives and targets.

Corinne Matthews

Corinne Matthews is the Aerospace/ Aviation Sector Lead for the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership which encompasses Somerset and Devon. Corinne has worked in regional economic development for over 20 years and is currently supporting delivery of the LEPs Sustainable Aviation transformational programme.

iAero Strategic Partners

iAero is governed by a strategic partner group that comprises Somerset Council (Economic Development), the HotSW LEP and Leonardo Helicopters UK.

The roles of the strategic partners are

Somerset Council logo

Somerset Council – responsible for the strategic aspects of economic development in the county and the day to day management and operation of the iAero facility


Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership

Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership

Provides economic development support to the Somerset, Devon … etc provides aerospace sector support via the iAero centre management team


Leonardo logo

Leonardo Helicopters – Completes the iAero strategic committee from an industry perspective, provides aerospace insight, resource and support to achieve the vison and goals


iAero Local Delivery Partners

iAero is pleased to be working with the following partners.

Yeovil Collage

Yeovil College – Yeovil College is committed to providing inspirational education and training for individuals, employers, and the whole community.


weaf logo

The West of England Aerospace Forum – WEAF provide the Innovation Support Service for iAero under the Business West contract with Somerset Council


Business West

Business West


Yeovil Chamber

Yeovil Chamber of Commerce


somerset chamber of commerce

Somerset Chamber of Commerce 


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