£1 billion Bombardier rail contract sparks jobs hope

Bombardier was this morning named the winner of a £1 billion train building contract for the Crossrail project.

The Derby firm beat off competition from Japan’s Hitachi and Spain’s CAF to clinch the contract, which the Department for Transport said would provide 760 manufacturing jobs and 80 apprenticeships to add to the company’s 1500-strong workforce.

George Cowcher, Chief Executive of Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire Chambers of Commerce said: “A contract of this size for any regionally-based company is terrific news for the local economy. This is not just about Bombardier, it is about the dozens, perhaps hundreds of companies and thousands of people working in the supply chain who will be feeling considerably more secure this morning following this announcement.”

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Trains for the system – to run between Heathrow and Essex – will be manufactured and assembled at Bombardier’s plant in Derby.

Bombardier lost out to German firm Siemens to build new train carriages for the London-based Thameslink route in 2011.

Commenting on today’s announcement, D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership Chief Executive David Ralph said: “The awarding of the Crossrail contract to Bombardier in Derby should recognise the joint efforts of the business community and civic leaders in its campaign to support rail manufacturing in the city.

“They have worked tirelessly over the past two years, including making challenging decisions and developing the Rail Training Centre, to secure this contract. It is this response that has helped turned heads of Government back towards UK manufacturing and, specifically, the importance of UK rail design and manufacturing at Derby.

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“Transport Engineering and Services – planes, trains and automobiles - is one of the key sectors identified in the D2N2 Strategic Economic Plan. Securing this project was at the top of our list of priorities and is great news for the city, for the company and the supply chain.

“Sustaining rail design and manufacturing in Derby was at the forefront of the challenge to deliver 55,000 new jobs over the next ten years. Today’s announcement is excellent news.”

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