Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Progress made on new job-saving orders for Alstom Derby plant

Progress has been made on Alstom’s plant-shutting production gap following intense discussions between the government and Transport for London about an order for the Elizabeth line from the manufacturer’s Derby train factory.

Alstom faces a gap in its order book once its existing work comes to an end later this year and has been seeking additional short-term work to enable manufacturing to continue at Litchurch Lane until confirmed new work on HS2 comes onstream in early 2026.

Following his meeting with Alstom CEO Henri Poupart-Lafarge, the Secretary of State wrote to Derby North MP Amanda Solloway confirming yesterday (16 April) that the Department for Transport “has now secured approval in principle to support funding for a further five Elizabeth Line trains, in addition to the five trains confirmed in March” and that “the onus is now on Alstom to provide competitive pricing… to enable this to progress to a satisfactory and swift conclusion.”

The Secretary of State has also asked Alstom “to confirm in writing their long-term commitment to invest in Derby, including confirmation that Alstom will host the design, development and manufacture of its Adessia platform.”

It follows months of talks and a letter earlier this week from the leader of Derby City Council to the Prime Minister asking for his intervention.

While the deal is not yet over the line, a step forward has been made with the potential to prevent the closure of the Litchurch Lane factory, a move costing 1,300 direct and 15,000 indirect jobs.

Closure would end 185-years of railway heritage and leave the UK as the only G7 country without the ability to design, develop, build and test trains.

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