Talgo innovation hub to be created at Barrow Hill as Chesterfield narrowly misses out on train factory

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Chesterfield has been chosen as the site for a £9 million ‘innovation and training centre’ by Spanish rail giant Talgo, beating off competition from 30 sites across the country.

The investment will see the centre, which the firm will use to showcase its new technologies, developed at Barrow Hill Engine Shed in Staveley.

In October, it was announced that Chesterfield had been earmarked as one of five UK locations, including Leeds and St Helens, for a major train factory by Talgo.

The town made it to the final two sites in the shortlisting process- but ‘narrowly’ missed out to Logannet in Fife, Scotland.

Councillor Tricia Gilby, leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, said: “While we are hugely disappointed that the bid hasn’t been successful, Talgo was really impressed with Chesterfield and the bid that was put together.

“Because of this they have said that they are keen to work with the area to potentially bring an innovation centre to Barrow Hill, recognising the strengths we have in terms of skills, education, research and technology.

“I’m also hopeful that the highly skilled businesses in the area that already supply and support the rail sector can win contracts with Talgo as it enters the UK market.

“We’ll work further with Talgo to find out more detail about their aspirations for an innovation centre and what this may mean for the borough.”

Lee Rowley, MP for North East Derbyshire, said: “I am delighted to see that see that Barrow Hill has been recognised by an international company who want to invest in our area, creating high-quality jobs. I’ll be working with Talgo and the Council to secure this investment.”

Sir John Peace, chairman of Midlands Engine and Midlands Connect said: “The Midlands remains a leader in transport innovation in general and the next generation of rail development in particular, and the arrival of HS2 will be a catalyst for growth both for Chesterfield and the Midlands as a whole.”

Coun Gilby added: “We have already had interest from other manufacturers off the back of the Talgo bid.

“Like Talgo, they recognise that the site has great potential for manufacturing because it is in a central location with 23 million people within two hours travel, has excellent road and rail connectivity, with research and innovation facilities nearby and a skilled local workforce.”