Local MP Paul Howell welcomed Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to Hitachi’s Newton Aycliffe factory on Friday, where they looked at a series of next generation intercity trains that are currently being manufactured for UK passengers.
The Aycliffe Business Park factory, which covers an area of over 31 acres just south of the town, employs over 700 workers and will be celebrating its eighth year of operation this year.
“It was great to bring Rishi Sunak to Newton Aycliffe and show him just one of the hundreds of manufacturing firms based in the town and across my constituency,” said MP Howell.
“It was also great to discuss the fantastic work done by Hitachi and I know the Prime Minister has used many of the carriages produced here whilst he has travelled on the East Coast Mainline.
“We know how committed the government is to expanding our existing rail infrastructure and doing it in a green way that makes use of the high-skilled workforce we have in the North-East.”
Expressing his delight at the work done by Hitachi, Sunak said on the visit: “There is world class manufacturing going on here and we’ve been meeting some of the next generation of British engineers.
“As a government we’re committed to supporting jobs and opportunities to people across the North East and this is a great example of it.”
Jim Brewin, chief director of UK and Ireland at Hitachi Rail, said: “It was a real honour to introduce our 700-strong Newton Aycliffe workforce to the Prime Minister and Paul Howell MP.
“The Prime Minister saw first-hand the value of Hitachi Rail’s investment in the North-East, which delivers over £400m economic benefit for the region and UK supply chain.
“It was also an incredible opportunity to discuss our exciting plans to make the factory a Net Zero hub for battery trains and skills.
“I want to thank Paul for being so closely engaged with the work of the factory and ensuring the Prime Minister came to the plant to see how the Hitachi Rail’s factory is levelling-up in action.”