German engineering company Siemens has announced plans to invest £200m in building a new train factory in Goole, East Yorkshire, UK.
The new train factory will be built on a 67-acre site in Goole, and will manufacture trains for UK use, including new trains to fulfil Siemens’ contracts for HS2 and the London Underground. Construction is due to begin later this year, subject to Siemens’ “success in major future orders”, the company said.
The company estimates that its plans for the new train factory will create 700 skilled jobs; it would also employ an additional 250 people for construction, and could add an additional 1,700 jobs into the UK supply chain.
What did Siemens say about the plan?
Juergen Maier, chief executive of Siemens in the UK, said that the commitment the UK has demonstrated to developing and reinforcing rail infrastructure encouraged the company to move ahead with the project.
He said: “We’ve got the confidence now that there is a mood to invest in railways. There is a national mood among business and government, at a local and national level, that we need to better connect this country.”
Maier added that the uncertainty around Brexit had helped to justify the decision. If the UK leaves the EU’s customs union, imports and exports will be subject to tariffs, and so by building a new train factory in the UK to supply the domestic market will avoid this outcome.
How has the government responded?
The UK’s transport secretary, Chris Grayling, welcomed Siemens’ plan, which he said would take advantage of Yorkshire’s existing expertise in the rail sector. He argued that the announcement demonstrates the strength of the government’s ‘northern powerhouse’ strategy.
He said: “From delivering brand new and refurbished trains through the great north rail project, our plans to upgrade the transpennine route to our investment in Yorkshire’s roads, we are driving forward job creation, economic growth and unlocking the potential of the northern powerhouse.”