Executives of Hitachi Rail Europe today hailed the 'significant progress' in the construction of its new train building factory in County Durham. The site, in Newton Aycliffe, will open next year, with the first trains expected to follow in 2016.
Hitachi is manufacturing a new fleet of intercity trains and chose the North East as its European base because of its strong transport links and the skills of the workforce.
Keith Jordan, from Hitachi:
More than 700 jobs will eventually come to the factory, with more in the supply chain. However, employment has already been created in the construction of the site. Most of the firms involved are from the North East and demand for workers has been higher than expected. It represents an £82 million investment in the region.
Andrew Constantine, Shepherd Construction:
Hopes are high that the factory will become a major player in the economy for years to come, not just in the North East, but in Europe and, perhaps, worldwide.