Spanish firm eyes power station site
Train manufacturer considering Longannet
Forth Valley could be set for a jobs boost as a train manufacturer considers moving its operation to the area.
The former Longannet power station is one of just two locations earmarked for a potential factory site that could employ up to a thousand people.
Engineering firm, Talgo, has shortlisted Longannet and Chesterfield as the potential locations for the new plant.
The Spanish–based company, which hopes to announce a decision on the location in the middle of this month, specialises in designing, manufacturing and servicing fast, lightweight trains.
The shortlist represents the latest phase in a search that has lasted eighteen months and seen 30 locations vying to be the site of the new operation.
Longannet was Scotland’s last coal-fired power station when it closed in March, 2016, after failing to win a contract from National Grid.
It brought to an end a period of operation which began in 1973 when it was opened and operated by the South of Scotland Electricity Board.
In 1990, Scottish Power took over the running of the site following privatisation. Over 230 workers were based at Longannet at the time of its closure.
The station was constructed on 74 acres of land.
In a bid to identify a site for the development, Talgo has been holding discussions with land owners, development agencies, councils, research establishments, schools, colleges and universities.
Talgo president, Carlos de Palacio said: “The establishment of a manufacturing facility in the UK is a significant part of Talgo’s future strategy.
“Talgo’s aim is to establish true manufacturing – rather than assembling from parts made elsewhere. This means that we will draw from materials and expertise across the UK.
“This keeps more money in the UK economy, and creates more skilled long–term jobs.
“Although there can only be one factory site, we have established lasting relationships with all of the countries, regions and areas that we have visited.
“We are now developing those relationships, to ensure that – irrespective of the factory location - Talgo provides great opportunities across the UK.”
Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Connectivity, Michael Matheson said: “With potential for significant new jobs and supply chain opportunities, we are delighted that Longannet has been named as one of the final two short listed locations for Talgo’s factory.
“We are working with Talgo and public and private sector partners across Scotland to ensure maximum benefit from the opportunity that Talgo’s investment represents and look forward to Talgo’s final decision in the near future.”
FutureLongannet could be site for factory making trains