Japanese firm Hitachi Rail ups sticks and moves to County Durham, creating 1,800 jobs, after winning massive new UK contracts
The manufacturer of the first Japanese bullet train is to move its global headquarters to the North East of England from Tokyo in a move that could create thousands of new jobs.
Unions gave a cautious welcome to the news which will see Hitachi Rail relocate to County Durham – the birthplace of the world’s first public steam railway line.
The Japanese company recently won £5.8bn contracts as part of a consortium to build a new generation of inter-city trains for both the Great Western and East Coast mainlines. In 2012 another division of the company bought the rights to a £700m contract to construct nuclear power plants in the UK.
Its new rolling stock factory in Newton Aycliffe is already being built and is expected to open next year employing 730 people.
Up to 1,800 people could eventually work at the site under Briton Alistair Dormer, who will now lead the global operation as chief executive.
Hitachi is also eyeing potential multi-billion pound contracts for the proposed HS2 high speed rail link as well as bidding to build trains in Germany despite claims by rivals, including Derby-based Bombardier, that they are effectively excluded from entering the lucrative Japanese market.
Labour and the Tories clashed over the announcement with both seeking credit for the decision which, it was claimed could be put in jeopardy if Britain voted to leave the European Union in a future referendum.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said it was an “incredible vote of confidence in a growing Britain”.
He added: "Nothing says that better than the company that built the first bullet train putting its HQ here to sell abroad, alongside a new factory and new jobs in northern England.
"This is just the sort of growth we want to see more of as we invest in rail and build HS2.”
Shadow transport secretary Mary Creagh defended Labour from Tory attacks on its stewardship of Britain’s railways. “If it was so dismal I don't understand why Hitachi have moved here because of the InterCity express programme. “But we'll move on about that - that's actually a Labour decision that caused that announced today,” she told the Commons.
Mick Whelan, general secretary of train drivers' union Aslef, said: “We welcome this news because it will create much-needed jobs in the North East of Britain.
“I would rather it was a British company creating jobs and winning orders from the Department for Transport, but it is good news. We want investment, in trains and carriages as well as in our infrastructure, to build a better railway for everyone in Britain.”
- 1 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 2 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 4 Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
- 5 UK weather: 'Coldest night of the year' tonight as freezing temperatures plummet to -10C
President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations
Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
AirAsia flight QZ8501 missing: Search for plane carrying 162 passengers from Indonesia to Singapore suspended overnight
Millions of Britons struggling to feed themselves and facing malnourishment
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
iJobs Money & Business
Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...
Not specified: Selby Jennings: Quantitative Research | Global Equity | New Yor...
Not specified: Selby Jennings: SVP Model Validation This top tiered investment...
Highly Competitive: Selby Jennings: Our client, a leading European Oil trading...