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.
Vince Cable MP, Business Secretary.
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."
Business secretary Vince Cable is at the site of an £82m development that will create hundreds of North East jobs.
The new factory, at Hitachi Rail Europe's plant in Newton Aycliffe, will be built by Darlington-based contractor Shepherd.
The firm will create 150 new jobs to construct the plant and secure hundreds more across the region's supply chain.
Vince Cable and Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin will open the development.
A grieving mother whose two sons' graves were desecrated in an apparent thieving spree has spoken of how the attack has added to her and her husband's already overwhelming grief.
Police have seized dozens of ornaments and decorations which they suspect were stolen from a cemetery near Newton Aycliffe.
Two people have been arrested in connection with the incident. Joanne and John Newton are amongst the grieving families whose loves ones' graves are believed to have been targetted - they spoke to our correspondent Rachel Bullock.
Sergeant Mark Edwards, Durham Police.