The most recent estimate shows that Ministry of Defence investment supports more than 200,000 jobs in industries across the UK. We recently marked the first anniversary of the defence and security industrial strategy, which has received positive feedback from industry. Continued high and focused investment in defence, along with the changes that we are making as part of the DSIS, will contribute to further economic growth and prosperity, including jobs, across the United Kingdom.
As the Member for Lincoln in Bomber County, as Lincolnshire is also known, and with RAF Waddington in my constituency, I have many constituents who work in the defence sector. Investment in defence continues to be strong: there are now more than 80 defence companies across Lincolnshire, and Lincoln College has Britain’s first air and defence college, working in partnership with the Royal Air Force and with companies in the defence industry. Would the Minister and perhaps the Secretary of State care to visit Lincoln, see that great facility for themselves and reaffirm the Government’s commitment to supporting the defence sector in Lincolnshire?
I pay tribute to the work of all those at RAF Waddington and those who support them. The Greater Lincolnshire local enterprise partnership is a major investment hub for the Department and the defence industry. Lincoln College’s air and defence college, which is run in partnership with the RAF and with several key defence companies, supports existing career paths into science and engineering. My hon. Friend will be gutted that I am answering his question rather than the Minister for Defence Procurement, who is on his way to the Falklands, but I am certain that the Minister will want to visit, as my hon. Friend suggests.