Rolls-Royce Plans $600M Indy Investment

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Rolls-Royce says renovations will begin immediately. Rolls-Royce says renovations will begin immediately.

Rolls-Royce has unveiled plans for a massive investment in Indianapolis. The aircraft engine maker plans to spend nearly $600 million to modernize its Indianapolis operations, which date back to World War II. The company says the upgrades will reduce costs by replacing outdated infrastructure as well as eliminating unused space and consolidating operations. Rolls-Royce North America Chief Executive Officer Marion Blakey says the investment will create a state-of-the-art manufacturing center and allow the company to "become more competitive within the growing aerospace industry."

Rolls-Royce says renovations will begin immediately. The effort includes replacing equipment and infrastructure that the company says dates back to World War II. The manufacturer says the investment is its largest in the United States since buying the former Allison Engine Co. in 1995. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. says the project is one of the largest it has ever announced.

The IEDC offered Rolls-Royce nearly $18.5 million in conditional tax credits and training grants based on the company's planned investment. Earlier this year, the company pushed for the Indiana General Assembly to update the Hoosier Business Investment credit. The organization says the move allowed the state to "compete effectively" for the project.

The project received substantial interest from locations in the U.S. and around the world. "Rolls-Royce is a global aerospace company and really could have made this nearly $600 million investment anywhere in the world," said Governor Mike Pence. "Two years ago, I remember being at a Rolls-Royce board meeting in England and I was seated across the table from the governor of Virginia…this was very competitive."

The project marks the second major investment for Rolls-Royce in recent weeks. The company announced last month that it would become the first tenant in the recently-established Purdue Research Park Aerospace District in West Lafayette. The facility will be built and owned by the Purdue Research Foundation.

Rolls-Royce's investment marks the latest sign of momentum in Indiana's aerospace and defense sector. The IEDC says companies including Raytheon, BAE Systems and Alcoa have announced plans to invest more than $900 million and create more than 1,200 jobs in Indiana in the coming years.

Rolls-Royce North America Chief Executive Officer Marion Blakey says the company chose Indianapolis despite pressure to invest elsewhere.
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