Having met with Alstom and toured the Victorian site in Preston. A new state of the art facility in the North is something which would really give them the capability to deliver over the next generation. I say the next generation, but I don't just mean rolling stock. The facility in the North will be much more than a manufacture and maintenance site.
The concept, built on the back of securing the Pendolino contract and the HS2 and London Underground rolling stock opportunities will also have a huge impact of the local economy and skills development of the area.
Alstom are planning will build a world-class training facility at the site supplying and future proofing skills in the region. These will not only benefit the railways, but the transport and manufacturing sector in general.
Having seen Alstom's HS2 double decker prototype, and being a huge Northern Powerhouse advocate. I hope the region benefits from such a high profile award. With the recent franchises awards across the North with Northern and Trans Pennine. The region seems to be gathering pace implementing the infrastructure and skills which will be essential for the longer term success of our regional powerhouse.
The French train company Alstom is to build a new multimillion-pound plant in the north-west of England, delivering a major boost to the region during a time of uncertainty about Britain’s exit from the European Union. Alstom will spend an initial £20m on a new site at Widnes, Cheshire, creating about 600 jobs. The facility will modernise the Pendolino trains on the west coast mainline and contain a training academy, but it could eventually manufacture new rolling stock if Alstom wins a contract to produce trains for London Underground or HS2.