Spanish train manufacturer Talgo has announced that Leeds City Region is on the UK shortlist of six regions to become home for a new 40,000 square metre manufacturing facility.
Reacting to the news, Cllr Judith Blake Leader of Leeds City Council said: “Over the last 18 months we have been working closely with Talgo to help make this significant opportunity a reality.
“We believe we have a unique fit with Talgo which is supported by our HS2 Growth Strategy. Our rail research capability in Leeds City Region includes the Institute for High Speed Rail at the University of Leeds and the Institute for Railway Research at the University of Huddersfield.
“In addition, Leeds is a HS2 destination city at the heart of the Northern Powerhouse and has been selected as a location for the HS2 rail supply depot. Together with a manufacturing skills base of 144,200 people and an extensive supply chain we are confident our offer is compelling.”
TALGO is a specialised rolling stock engineering company mainly focused on designing, manufacturing and servicing technologically differentiated, fast, lightweight trains with industrial presence in 28 countries. These include Spain, Germany, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United States.
TALGO aims to enter the UK train market, through ‘true manufacturing’. Instead of assembling kits of parts from overseas, the company wants to source components from within the United Kingdom. This approach will grow the UK’s manufacturing capability, strengthen supply chains, create more jobs, and boost local economies.
Carlos de Palacio, President of Talgo (and grandson of the founder), said: “The establishment of a manufacturing facility in the UK is a significant part of Talgo’s future strategy.
“Talgo’s aim is to establish true manufacturing – rather than assembling from parts made elsewhere. This means that we will draw from materials and expertise across the UK. This keeps more money in the UK economy, and creates more skilled long-term jobs.
“Although there can only be one factory site, we have developed excellent relationships with all the countries, regions and areas that we have visited. We anticipate continuing these relationships to ensure that Talgo provides great opportunities across the UK.”
A final decision on a factory site is anticipated in November 2018.