12th December 2018
Hitachi and Spencer Group have joined forces in order to bid for a £500 million contract to build new trains and a maintenance centre for the Tyne and Wear Metro. From 2022, the existing Metro fleet will be completely replaced with brand new trains and a newly constructed maintenance depot is to be constructed at Gosforth, Newcastle.
Both companies have firm roots in the North-East, with Hitachi having invested over £100 million in their train factory at Merchant Park, Newton Aycliffe supporting thousands of jobs in the North-East. Based in Hull, Spencer Group have delivered a series of projects in the North-East, including the refurbishment of Newcastle Station’s iconic Grade 1 listed roof, provision of a biomass handling facility at the Port of Tyne and the upgrade of Heaton Depot for Hitachi trains.
Hitachi created over 700 permanent jobs at the factory whilst also using the British supply chain for parts which has resulted in a spend of over £628 million with UK suppliers, with 70% of parts fitted sourced from within 40 miles of the factory. Spencer Group employ over 300 people in the North-East, including at their Hull headquarters.
Hitachi and Spencer Group have worked together previously on several projects to upgrade rail maintenance facilities around the country in anticipation of the new Hitachi trains which will soon connect Newcastle to London, Scotland, Manchester and Liverpool.
Ross Nagle, Chief Operating Officer for Manufacturing at Hitachi, said:
“Our train building team in the North East is delivering truly world class trains already carrying millions of passengers around the country. We are now working hard to secure more orders, so our investment in the North East economy will continue to be felt across the region and with our local suppliers.”
Gary Thornton, Managing Director of Spencer Group, said:
“Our partnership with Hitachi to bid for the contract with Tyne and Wear Metro builds on our successful relationship delivering major rail projects. Together we offer a compelling proposition of complementary engineering expertise that will deliver unrivalled benefits to the client and value to the economy of the North.”
Author: Darren Porter
Image: Hitachi Rail Europe