Leeds on shortlist for train production site
Spanish group Talgo’s scheme could create 1,000 jobs
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.