Hitachi has revealed the opening of a new building at their train factory in Newton Aycliffe.
The £5m building, which increases production capacity, means Hitachi’s total investment in the site reaches over £100m.
Established in 2015, Newton Aycliffe is building intercity and commuter fleets harnessing Japanese bullet train technology.
Its first order was the Government-led £5.7bn Intercity Express Programme which includes the Azuma fleet for the East Coast main line
The new building, named ‘Aspire’ following a staff competition, was opened by Phil Wilson MP.
Hitachi’s investment in Newton Aycliffe has supported thousands of jobs in the North.
As well as creating 730 permanent jobs at the factory, Hitachi uses a British supply chain for train parts.
The train builder has spent over £628m in past few years using 1,166 British suppliers who employ thousands of people.
This is part of a long-term investment in British manufacturing as an important member of the Northern Powerhouse delivering the government’s industrial strategy.
70% of parts that are locally fitted for new intercity trains are sourced within 40 miles of the factory, whilst £20million was spent with regional supplies in 2017 alone.
Ross Nagle, chief operating officer for manufacturing, said: “Our train building team are delivering truly world class trains to run across the country, and this new building is another step in Newton Aycliffe’s development.
“We are proud add a new chapter to the region’s rail heritage and seeing our long-term investment making a real impact to manufacturing in the North.”
The Labour MP for Sedgefield, Mr Wilson, added: “The ripple effect of Hitachi’s investment is being felt across the North East, for every one job created by them an additional 1.5 are created nearby.
“I’ll be working hard to help Hitachi win more orders, which will not only support train building jobs, but also thousands more in the regional supply chain.”