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Dickonson sings praised of aviation firm deal

A fledgling aerospace firm headed by heavy metal legend Bruce Dickinson has announced a key £5m investment.

The Iron Maiden frontman, who is fast becoming as big a noise in the world of business as he is in the music industry, hailed the Welsh Assembly government yesterday for backing his company's ambitious expansion to the tune of £1.6m.

Cardiff Aviation Limited was set up in July last year and is jointly run by Mr Dickinson and his business partner Mario Fulgoni.

Dickinson is currently on a high-profile tour of Europe with the heavy metal band.

His firm is an aircraft maintenance and flight training group with headquarters within the Welsh government's St Athan-Cardiff Airport Enterprise Zone.

The £5m investment into the firm's operation in South Wales was announced yesterday at the Paris International Air Show.

Finance Wales, the Welsh government's small business investment subsidiary, has put in £1.6m of the overall sum.

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The remainder of the £5m will come from private backers and Mr Dickinson and Mr Fulgoni themselves.

The injection of cash will enable the firm to boost its technical capability by investing in more engineering equipment.

A finance director will be appointed and operational and technical teams at the site in Cardiff expanded.

It will also lead to important industry approvals which will allow the firm to manufacture and certify aircraft parts.

"The Welsh government has played a fantastic role in a difficult economic environment in providing tremendous support and enthusiasm," said Mr Dickinson, the company's joint chief executive.