Prince William makes first official visit to Derby
- Credit: Archant
On his first official engagement to Derbyshire HRH Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge tours Bombardier, Rolls-Royce and The Padley Centre Photographs courtesy of Bombardier, Padley and Rolls-Royce
HRH The Duke of Cambridge began his first official visit to the county with a tour of Bombardier’s manufacturing site in Derby where he test drove one of the new trains being delivered for Transport for London’s Elizabeth line, and met employees. He spent around an hour at the site, hosted by Richard Hunter, Managing Director of Bombardier Transportation UK, and met manufacturing, welding and painting apprentices who are part of Bombardier’s Apprentice Programme. Bombardier’s Derby site, which employs 1,650 people, is the only one in the UK that both designs and manufactures trains in the United Kingdom.
Prince William’s visit continued at the Rolls-Royce factory where he met with apprentices and engineers and toured the company’s new Trent XWB assembly line. He was also presented with a fully working rotating turbine cake made by Rolls-Royce employee and Great British Bake Off finalist Andrew Smyth. Rolls-Royce group president Colin Smith said: ‘We were delighted to welcome the Duke of Cambridge and introduce him to our highly skilled workforce who assemble Rolls-Royce Trent aero engines, including the Trent XWB. It was also a pleasure introducing the Duke to our latest intake of apprentices demonstrating the investment we make in young people who are beginning an exciting career in engineering.’
The Duke of Cambridge’s final engage-ment was at local charity Padley which helps people with complex needs, including homelessness, mental health issues, learning disabilities and substance misuse. The visit was to the Development Centre where he met students of the arts and crafts and pottery workshops – trying his hand at making an Aboriginal rainstick and a snowman. He had a private meeting with former clients who had struggled with homelessness, addiction and mental health issues and discussed with them their personal stories to recovery. He met clients, staff and volunteers from across Padley and stakeholders who work with Padley. The Prince unveiled a plaque and was presented with a lion made by pottery student Jamie as a momento of his visit.