Tuesday 8 September 2015
Official Opening of the £82m Newton Aycliffe Train Factory
David Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne welcomed train manufacturing back to the North East at an opening ceremony in Newton Aycliffe attended by hundreds of customers, employees and the world’s media.
Mr Cameron said: “This is a really big moment for the region. Train manufacturing has come back to the North East. It is great to be adding to the history of railways in the North East which extends back to George Stephenson – the father of railways.
“It’s great in terms of jobs for local people and it’s great for skills – the sort of highly skilled manufacturing work that our country needs as we rebuild our manufacturing base.
It also means the potential for thousands of jobs in the supply chain. We want this to be the start of a great revival in terms of manufacturing in the North East.”
The facility will eventually employ more than 700 people who will help to build the new InterCity Express (IEP) trains for the East Coast Mainline and Great Western Mainline, as well as AT200 commuter trains for Scotland.
Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin, Rail Minister Claire Perry, Japanese Ambassador to the UK Keiichi Hayashi and Hitachi Ltd chairman and chief executive officer Hiroaki Nakanishi were also in attendance.
“We’ve talked a lot about rebalancing the economy and trying to create a Northern Powerhouse. I can tell you that jobs are being created faster in the North East than any other part of the country and wages are rising are also going up four times as fast as the UK average. The North East is a real manufacturing success story now.”