SIEMENS is planning to open a train-building factory in Britain, making an investment of up to £200 million and potentially creating at least 700 jobs.
The chosen location is Goole in Yorkshire, where Siemens has signed a long term agreement for the lease of a 27-hectare site.
The company has also sounded a warning that contracts must be signed for new British trains as well, saying it intended to start ‘phased development of site later this year, if investment conditions are met, and subject to the company’s success in major future orders’.
As well as up to 700 ‘skilled engineering and manufacturing’ jobs, another 250 people would be employed during the construction phase. Around 1,700 indirect jobs are also expected to be created in the UK supply chain.
Siemens UK chief executive Juergen Maier said: “We’ve said for some time that future success for Siemens in the rail industry would see us opening a rail manufacturing plant here and this announcement provides additional substance to those words. Having considered multiple locations in the UK, I’m delighted to confirm that we’ve identified a site in Goole for our new UK rail factory which not only has the potential scale we need for a facility of this size but also ready access to the skilled people we’d need to build and operate the factory.
“This investment has the potential to have a tremendous impact on the Yorkshire economy and the North of England as a whole, ensuring that the benefits of infrastructure spending are spread widely and helping to ensure the ongoing development of the UK rail industry.”
Transport secretary Chris Grayling said: “This exciting proposal by Siemens underlines the benefits of this government’s £13 billion investment into improving and modernising Northern transport, providing major firms with the fast, reliable connections required to recruit a skilled workforce and deliver cutting-edge innovation.
“From delivering brand new and refurbished trains through the Great North Rail Project, our plans to upgrade the Transpennine Route to our investment in Yorkshire’s roads, we are driving forward job creation, economic growth and unlocking the potential of the Northern Powerhouse.”
Gordon Wakeford, managing director of the Mobility Division for Siemens in the UK, said: “We have been a major part of the UK rail industry for over 20 years and have already invested hundreds of millions in our facilities, our people and technology over the past five years alone. This proposed major new investment cements our company’s desire to further its presence in the UK’s rail market and underpins the ongoing importance of the market here to our rail business globally. We are looking forward to working with our UK industry partners and supply chain to bring this vision for the future to reality.”
The detailed plans for the factory, which is close to junction 36 of the M62 motorway, include manufacturing and commissioning buildings, warehouses, offices and stabling sidings with potential for the development of a test track.