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Spanish train and tram factory brings 300 jobs.

Byline: Chris Kelsey Assistant head of business chris.kelsey@walesonline.co.uk

THREE hundred jobs will be created at a new train and tram factory that is to be built at Newport.

Spanish company Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) is investing PS30m in the new plant, described as a centre of excellence for the manufacture of UK rolling stock.

More than 100 locations in the UK were considered for the plant, with the Celtic Business Park in Newport chosen from one of four potential sites that were shortlisted.

First Minister Carwyn Jones said: "Today's announcement is a major coup for Wales and a big vote of confidence in our manufacturing industry.

"We are, once again, competing and beating others on the world stage to secure significant investment to Wales.

"This PS30m investment is a major economic boost that we hope will kick-start the growth of our rail sector and create hundreds of highly skilled, very well paid jobs."

CAF is a major international rolling stock manufacturer with plants in Brazil, Mexico and the US as well as Spain.

Founded in 1917, it specialises in the manufacture of light rail, rapid transit and railway rolling stock.

The Newport factory is being designed so that CAF can build a range of different trains, including diesel multiple units (DMUs), electric multiple units (EMUs), trams and high speed trains.

It will enable the company to assemble, test and commission new vehicles and have capacity to undertake future manufacturing projects as well as maintenance and servicing activities.

Richard Garner, CAF's UK Director, said: "CAF is an established supplier to the UK market, and we now have solid economic basis for further increasing our footprint in the UK. The establishment of this facility will serve CAF's long-term aspirations to dominate the UK market for many years to come."

CAF has had a presence in the UK rail market since the 1990s, supplying units for the Heathrow Express link from the airport to Paddington in that decade.

More recently it has supplied trains to Northern Ireland Railways and trams for the cities of Birmingham and Edinburgh.

Last year it signed a contract to supply sleeper cars for the London and Glasgow-Edinburgh routes, as well as units for Arriva Rail North and the FirstGroup's TransPennine Express franchise.

It has also confirmed its interest in tendering for the HS2 high speed line, and is a prequalified bidder for the London Underground.

The Welsh Government is supporting this latest project, which will be the first centre of its type in Wales.

The site will allow for significant future expansion, providing potential for further investment and employment in the Newport area.

Economy Secretary Ken Skates said: "This significant investment from CAF and Welsh Government will underpin the development of the rail sector in Wales and places us at the heart of an industry with massive growth potential.

"As well as creating 300 high calibre jobs, it also coincides with our major Welsh Government Metro rail investment in south east Wales, details of which will be unveiled over the coming weeks."

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<B Midland Metro tram built by Spanish train and tram builder Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF), which is opening a plant at Newport
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jul 13, 2017
Words:536
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