Plans for Siemens train factory show confidence in UK, minister says

Plans for a new state-of-the-art train factory in East Yorkshire, which could mean 700 new skilled jobs, is a "sign of confidence in the United Kingdom", according to Transport Secretary Chris Grayling.

Mr Grayling was speaking as the German engineering giant outlined its proposals to establish a major new plant to manufacture and commission trains in Goole, East Yorkshire - a move which the firm said "has the potential to have a tremendous impact on the Yorkshire economy and the North of England as a whole".

He said: "I think it's a sign of confidence in the United Kingdom.

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"You don't invest money in Britain if you don't think see the potential in Britain and Siemens already have a strong track record in this country. They are already an important part of our technology and engineering sectors."

The Secretary of State said: "I think it's a vote of confidence first and foremost in Humberside.

"But it's a sign that international businesses want to be in the United Kingdom and, for Government, it's a sign that they are very welcome to be in the United Kingdom.

"I'm very clear that we want to be an open, welcoming nation. We want to be an outward facing nation."

The move would be Siemens's second landmark investment in East Yorkshire following its £300 million wind turbine blade plant, which employs hundreds of people 30 miles east in Hull.

The firm said the £200 million new factory could employ up to 700 people in skilled engineering and manufacturing roles, plus an additional 250 during the construction phase.

And it said it expected around 1,700 indirect jobs to be created throughout the UK supply chain.

Executives at the launch in Goole said the exact figures would depend on future orders, but said the firm envisaged the plant eventually producing trains for the British market at the rate of four per month.

Juergen Maier, chief executive at Siemens UK, said: "We've said for some time that future success for Siemens in the rail industry would see us opening a rail manufacturing plant here and this announcement provides additional substance to those words.

"Having considered multiple locations in the UK, I'm delighted to confirm that we've identified a site in Goole for our new UK rail factory which not only has the potential scale we need for a facility of this size, but also ready access to the skilled people we'd need to build and operate the factory.

Mr Maier added: "This investment has the potential to have a tremendous impact on the Yorkshire economy and the North of England as a whole, ensuring that the benefits of infrastructure spending are spread widely and helping to ensure the ongoing development of the UK rail industry."

Siemens said it already employs 4,400 people in the rail and wider transport sector out of a total 15,000 strong UK workforce.

It said there are currently 450 Siemens-built trains in service and the company has eight purpose-built maintenance facilities in the UK.