THE future of 250 workers has been secured after a deal was agreed to buy out at an aerospace firm.

Celtic Aerospace Ventures (CAV) will acquire the assets of County Durham-based Aerospace Systems & Technologies (AS&T) from receivers Ernst & Young.

The deal comes just two weeks after AS&T went into receivership, which was followed by an intensive series of negotiations to find a suitable buyer.

The figures involved in the deal are not being revealed at present but the new company is being backed by a major offshore investor together with the Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays Bank.

A spokesman for CAV said: "It was absolutely essential to complete this deal quickly for the sake of the workforce and to maintain the confidence of customers, particularly that of BAE Systems in supplying wing components for the Airbus. I was pleased to have the full co-operation of Ernst & Young in achieving this.

The company, which boasts a strong order book, manufactures a variety of aerospace components and ice protection systems from a 120,000 sqft facility in Consett.

In addition to the 250 jobs in the North-East, the CAV acquisition secures 42 jobs at a design facility in Manchester.

The CAV spokesman added: "The loyalty of the customers and workforce has been above and beyond expectations, and this has been a key factory in giving everyone confidence to conclude the deal.

"We were also pleased to have a speedily secured co-operation from the DTI, County Durham and I am particularly grateful to Derwentside District Council for its help and advice and for the use of its facilities in the run up to acquisition."

Roger Griffiths, partner with Ernst & Young, said: "We are delighted to have achieved this sale to help secure the future of the business and 250 jobs.