Train manufacturing has officially returned to the North East as the Prime Minister, Chancellor and Transport Secretary today (Thursday 3 September 2015) opened Hitachi’s new £82 million facility in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.
Hitachi’s decision to move train manufacturing back to the North East comes just a few years after the government awarded them with the £5.7 billion Intercity Express contract.
The new train factory, the firm’s first in Europe, will build the next generation of trains for the East Coast and Great Western main lines, as well as the Scottish commuter trains.
It will create over 700 direct jobs and support thousands more in the supply chain, providing a huge boost to the Chancellor’s plans to build the Northern Powerhouse.
The new trains will revolutionise journeys to Bristol, the Cotswolds and South Wales and to Yorkshire, the North East and Scotland, with more seats on each train, more services, reduced journey times and improved reliability.
The first train will enter passenger service on the Great Western line in 2017, whilst passengers on the East Coast will be able to enjoy their first new trains in 2018.
IEP trains and the impact of Hitachi’s Newton Aycliffe facility in the North East
Prime Minister David Cameron said:
This massive investment from Hitatchi shows confidence in the strength of Britain’s growing economy.
This new train factory will not only provide good jobs for working people but will build the next generation of intercity trains, improving travel for commuters and families, as well as strengthening the infrastructure we need to help the UK grow.
Chancellor George Osborne said:
Today we see a major boost for UK manufacturing with Hitachi investing millions in returning train manufacturing to the North East.
This state of the art facility will grow and secure jobs for decades to come and will help us to build the Northern Powerhouse while at the same time revitalising one of our oldest industries in the region within which this tradition is synonymous.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said:
The state-of-the-art IEP trains that will be manufactured here will transform rail travel for countless passengers in the north east and south west.
Not only will these trains allow us to operate more services, with more seats, and faster journeys, the improvements will also bring great opportunities for growth, generating hundreds of jobs in the local area and thousands across the country within the supply chain.
We are investing record amounts in transport, not just to help people get around, but to help people get on.
The opening of this world-class Hitachi facility is a prime example of the strength and opportunities of the Northern Powerhouse and is a welcome addition to the historical culture of rail excellence in this region.
Several of Britain’s busiest rail routes including Great Western and East Coast main lines are set to benefit from this investment, with the first train roll outs due from 2017.
Hitachi’s £82 million investment was supported by a £4 million grant from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills to help build the factory.