Hitachi's train factory in Newton Aycliffe has lost out on a £1billion contract to supply Europe’s largest construction project. The company has been told Bombardier has won the deal to make trains for the new Crossrail commuter line being built across London.
It's disappointing to the Japanese firm whose £82million Newton Aycliffe plant opens in 2016.
Construction is beginning on an £82 million factory in County Durham. The Hitachi plant will create hundreds of permanent jobs -and hundreds more in contract work.
Once the site in Newton Aycliffe is ready, Hitachi says it will bid for the contract to build trains for the HS2 scheme - if it goes ahead. The high speed railway would link London to the north of England.
Watch out for some flash photography in Frances Read's report.
"We want to establish ourselves as a key British train maker and this factory is a huge step towards doing that.
"In just 18 months, what stands today as an empty field will become home to a state-of the-art facility, manufacturing trains for Europe and the UK.
"This investment will secure employment for more than 150 workers and many more from the supply chain.
"The majority will be from County Durham and the North-East. Shepherd won the tender to build the plant against strong competition and we look forward to working with them and Merchant Place Developments."
Dr Cable said Hitachi's decision to build its European factory in Newton Aycliffe shows the UK is an attractive place for international companies to do business.
He said: "This plant will be a great boost to the North-East economy, creating more than 700 jobs and bringing a long tradition of rail manufacturing back to the region.
"With increasing numbers of passengers set to use our railways over the coming years, we also need to train and encourage more young people."The Government has invested in a new rail training academy in Northampton, which will address skills shortages in traction and rolling stock
"We are also creating a new rail supply chain forum to help UK companies to win work both here and abroad."
Protestors gathered at Newcastle's Central Station to campaign against the proposed privatisation of the East Coast main line. Members of the National Rail Union have been at train stations across the country, including Newcastle and Berwick.
The Transport Secretary has announced that £1.2 billion will be invested into the manufacturing of carriages by Hitachi. The RMT says it is more about the bigger picture and that line has improved considerably under public ownership.