THE project to set up a ventilator assembly line to supply the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic has been awarded a special prize by the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Ventilator Challenge UK consortium, in which Airbus in Broughton played a pivotal role, has been awarded the President's prize.

Chester and District Standard:

700 staff members at Airbus worked on the project at the AMRC Cymru centre.

Dick Elsy CBE led the initiative to combine the knowledge and skills of 33 UK technology and engineering businesses across the aerospace, automotive and medical sectors, to produce more than 13,000 ventilator devices for the NHS.

Early in the development of the pandemic in the UK, it was feared there may not be enough ventilators to treat the projected number of seriously ill patients.

VentilatorChallengeUK was formed to rapidly produce ventilators for the NHS and the 33-strong consortium brought together UK engineering businesses from across the aerospace, automotive and medical sectors to build 13,437 ventilators for the NHS.

Gareth Davies, Head of Industrialisation at Airbus, who co-led the set-up of the ventilator assembly line at AMRC, said: "It was a privilege for the Airbus UK team to be part of the consortium on the ventilator challenge programme.

"In the end, more than 700 Airbus people worked together on this humanitarian project in the AMRC Cymru facility, which once again proved our pioneering spirit, innovation and resilience to overcome all challenges.

"This award is further recognition for all those involved and their fantastic efforts."