Leeds on short­list for train pro­duc­tion site

Span­ish group Talgo’s scheme could cre­ate 1,000 jobs

Yorkshire Post - Business - - FRONT PAGE - Mark Casci BUSI­NESS ED­I­TOR @MarkCasci

Leeds could be in the frame for a 40,000 sq m train man­u­fac­tur­ing plant that could cre­ate up to 1,000 jobs.

Span­ish train maker Talgo has an­nounced that Leeds City Re­gion is on the UK short­list of six re­gions to be­come the home for the fa­cil­ity.

Ch­ester­field has also made the short­list along­side St He­lens, Welsh port Mostyn and Hun­ter­ston or Lon­gan­net in Scot­land.

A de­ci­sion on a pre­ferred site is ex­pected next month, although a fi­nal go-ahead would de­pend on the com­pany ob­tain­ing an ini­tial order.

Talgo is it­self on the short­list to pro­duce trains for HS2.

Coun Ju­dith Blake, leader of Leeds City Coun­cil, said the fact that the city was a des­ti­na­tion point for HS2 and was among those set to re­ceive a HS2 rail de­pot, would count in its favour. “Over the last 18 months we have been work­ing closely with Talgo to help make this sig­nif­i­cant op­por­tu­nity a re­al­ity,” she said.

“We be­lieve we have a unique fit with Talgo which is sup­ported by our HS2 growth strat­egy.

“Our rail re­search ca­pa­bil­ity in Leeds City Re­gion in­cludes the In­sti­tute for High Speed Rail at the Univer­sity of Leeds and the In­sti­tute for Rail­way Re­search at the Univer­sity of Hud­der­s­field. In ad­di­tion, Leeds is a HS2 des­ti­na­tion city at the heart of the North­ern Pow­er­house and has been selected as a lo­ca­tion for the HS2 rail sup­ply de­pot.

“To­gether with a man­u­fac­tur­ing skills base of 144,200 peo­ple and an ex­ten­sive sup­ply chain we are con­fi­dent our of­fer is com­pelling.”

Busi­ness lead­ers in Ch­ester­field were also cheered by the news.

Scott Knowles, chief ex­ec­u­tive at the town’s cham­ber of com­merce, said: “Der­byshire has a long and suc­cess­ful as­so­ci­a­tion with the rail in­dus­try and al­ready stands to cap­i­talise on fu­ture de­vel­op­ments.

“HS2, in par­tic­u­lar, is the sin­gle largest in­vest­ment in rail in the UK since the Vic­to­rian era and will cre­ate jobs dur­ing con­struc­tion and be­yond that will ben­e­fit not just Europe’s big­gest rail firms clus­ter in Derby but also the area around To­ton with the sta­tion hub and Ch­ester­field from the planned main­te­nance de­pot at Stave­ley and, now, pos­si­bly the Talgo train fac­tory too.

“In­vest­ment on this scale would be trans­for­ma­tive for Ch­ester­field.”

The news comes af­ter in­fra­struc­ture gi­ant Siemens an­nounced ear­lier this year it was plan­ning to build a large rail­way fac­tory in Goole, East York­shire.

The £200m fac­tory has al­ready se­cured a £1.5bn con­tract with the Lon­don Un­der­ground.

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