Alstom welcomed local MPs Derek Twigg and Steve Rotheram on Friday (9 December) to see the progress that has been made in the construction of its new technology centre and training academy in Widnes.
The facility, which opens in May 2017, could create hundreds of jobs for local people in the long term and will offer up to 15,000 days of training each year through the academy.
Since construction began onsite in the autumn, the steel works of the building are now erect, with much of the roof and floor also complete. Rail tracks are now being laid for trains to move inside the new building.
Derek Twigg, Member of Parliament for Halton, said: “My colleagues and I are impressed with how much progress has been made so far in the construction of Alstom’s new site in Widnes.
“It will be a significant source of local employment for the Halton area and provide a huge boost to our economy.”
Walton MP and Labour’s candidate for Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram, said: “I’ve been impressed by how quickly progress has been made on the construction of Alstom’s new facility in Widnes.
“The rail sector has always had historic roots in the North West and is essential to our future economic success - that is why this new technology centre and training academy is such an exciting development. The site is a major boost as it will provide high-skilled employment and apprenticeship opportunities for people across the Liverpool City Region.
Mike Hulme, Managing Director, Trains and Modernisation, Alstom UK & Ireland said:
“Our aim here in Widnes is to create Alstom’s very own rail campus, bringing together our experienced team with the next generation of engineers and apprentices.”
“The UK is one of the most exciting places in the world for rail companies like Alstom and the highly-skilled existing workforce in the North West is the reason why we chose the region to expand our UK footprint.
“We’re pleased to be so far on in the construction phase already, and excited about the months ahead, when we will really start to see the site take shape.”
The first project that Alstom will deliver at the new site will be re-painting the fleet of 56 Pendolino Class 390 ‘tilting’ trains used by Virgin on the West Coast Main Line. The project is worth €28 million and will employ 80 people.