The Business Secretary is expected to arrive in the next few minutes at Caterpillar in Peterlee, County Durham to confirm £3m in research money for the company.
It is part of a £40m fund that Vince Cable is launching, to help businesses make heavy duty vehicles more efficient.
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Nominations are now open for the ITV Fundraiser of the Year Award 2019
The contract includes designing and building a new train fleet and maintenance depot. The winning bid will be announced in January 2020.
Councils say they want to create new rail services, improve stations and build walk and cycle routes across the region.