1. ITV Report

Hitachi's Newton Aycliffe plant to miss out on £500m Metro contract, according to reports

Hitachi's Newton Aycliffe Rail Vehicle Assembly Facility opened in 2015 Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

There are reports that Hitachi, the Japanese train manufacturer, has lost out on a £500m contract to build trains for the Tyne and Wear Metro in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.

Hitachi was competing against Swiss manufacturer Stadler and the Spanish firm CAF.

Neither Hitachi or Nexus, the Metro operator, have commented on the outcome of the procurement process.

A spokesperson for both companies said the successful bidder will be officially announced in January.

Ben Houchen, the Tees Valley Mayor, said the news was "appalling."

Hitachi's Newton Aycliffe employs 700 people. It opened in 2015, costing £82 million.

Last year Hitachi failed to secure a £1.5bn contract to supply trains for the London Underground.

In March 2019 the company signed a £100m deal with FirstGroup to manufacturer five intercity electric trail for use on the East Coast Coast Main Line.

The news that Hitachi Rail, based in Newton Aycliffe, has not been awarded the £500m contract to build new trains for the Nexus Metro is an appalling decision by Tyne and Wear Councils.

They have complete control over this contract but have failed to protect a major North East business and local jobs. Instead, they have awarded this £500m to a foreign company to the detriment of the local area.

Because of incompetence by the Tyne and Wear Councils the new Nexus trains will be built by a foreign company, rather than one just down the road. We must stop this madness.

I’m calling on the Tyne and Wear councils to pause on the awarding of this contract and to review this perverse decision and I implore other local leaders and MPs to back this call.

– Ben Houchen