A recent announcement from the Transport Secretary, Justine Greening, will come as good news for skilled contractors and for those working in the construction industry.
A £4.5 billion contract has been approved by the Government, which will be used to supply Britain with the next generation of intercity trains.
It is expected that more than 900 jobs will be created for both permanent and freelance workers in different skilled areas, as well as thousands of current jobs being made more secure.
In a major boost to the UK’s manufacturing industry, 596 railway carriages will be built at a brand new train factory in the North East of England.
Agility Trains, a consortium made up of Hitachi and John Laing, has been awarded the contract to build and maintain the trains under the Intercity Express Programme (IEP), the project to replace Britain’s Intercity 125 trains with new, higher capacity modern trains.
Hitachi will assemble an Intercity fleet of 92 complete trains at a new purpose-built factory in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, in the process creating 730 skilled jobs with a further 200 jobs during construction of the factory itself and securing thousands more in the UK supply chain. The company will also locate its European rail research and development capabilities on the site.
Transport secretary Justine Greening said, “A new train factory is fantastic news for Britain and will be welcomed by everyone who wants to see a thriving UK manufacturing sector.
“The decision to build almost 600 new intercity train carriages is great for rail passengers who will experience faster and more comfortable journeys when travelling across Britain on the East Coast and Great Western main lines.
“Hitachi is the latest major international company to invest on this scale in Britain and I look forward to this new factory in County Durham following in the footsteps of Nissan’s successful car plant in Sunderland.”
Hitachi will also construct maintenance depots in Bristol, Swansea, West London and Doncaster, and will upgrade existing maintenance depots throughout Britain.