Alstom to cease operations at Preston workshops
Alstom has confirmed it is consulting with unions over the future of up to 180 jobs, following its decision to leave its Preston plant by July next year.
The company is moving staff and activities from the Lancashire site to its new Widnes facility that opened at the end of June ( RAIL 831).
An Alstom spokesman said: “Alstom has recently opened its new Transport Technology Centre in Widnes in the Liverpool City Region. This site is the natural home for Alstom’s increasingly digitally focused business, and as a result we plan to centralise our technologies and capabilities in this new world-class facility - increasing our productivity and competitiveness.
“This will mean leaving the Victorian Preston site by July 2018. Consultation is ongoing with the Trades Union and staff, and it would be inappropriate to comment any further at this stage.”
In the 1830s a privately owned carriage building business was established on the site. In 1863 the North of England Railway Carriage and Iron Company was incorporated, but that was liquidated 15 years later and the site became empty. A new use came in 1896, when the site was developed by The Electric Railway and Tramway Carriage Works Ltd. Dick Kerr and Company bought it in 1903 and during the First World War it was used for defence work. In 1918 the name changed to the English Electric Company.
The prototype Deltic was built at the site in the 1950s, and in the late 1960s AEI, English Electric and GEC formed GEC Power Engineering Ltd, which was merged with Alsthom of France in 1989. Nine years later, a new company (Alstom) was floated. Preston remained part of its Transport division.