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Rail contract will be a boost to area

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: February 06, 2014

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FIRMS across Burton and South Derbyshire could be in for a major financial boost on the back of news that a major train builder has secured a £1 billion contract.

Bombardier, which has an office in the Maltsters, in Wetmore Road, and a rail maintenance depot in Barton under Needwood, has revealed it has beaten off competition from foreign rivals Hitachi and CAF to secure the Crossrail deal to build 65 trains, which will operate across London.

Although the vehicles will be built in Derby, the move secures the jobs of hundreds of people who work for the firm in the area and is also set to have a major knock-on effect for dozens of auxiliary firms.

South Derbyshire MP Heather Wheeler said: “I was delighted to hear the news that Bombardier had won the Crossrail contract.”

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “This is a great day for Derbyshire, Bombardier and British manufacturing as a whole.”

Chris Williamson, MP for Derby North, who has been campaigning for Bombardier to be awarded the work, said: “The announcement is just the fillip Bombardier needed to secure its medium-term future and it’s great news for Derbyshire’s wider economy too.

“We have fought long and hard for some good news, so it’s gratifying to know that the many months of hard work in championing Bombardier’s cause have been vindicated.”

A spokesman for the Derby and Derbyshire Rail Forum, which represents more than 100 rail-related businesses in the East Midlands, said: “The firm employs large numbers of local people who contribute to the regional economy and a wide range of businesses and communities in the East Midlands.”

Bombardier missed out on the £1.4 billion deal for the Thameslink project, in London, to Siemens in 2011.

The Department for Transport was criticised after selecting the German firm as its preferred bidder.

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