Thousands of new jobs could be created in Chesterfield - if a ‘once in a generation’ opportunity to build a train factory in the area gets the go-ahead.
The former Hartington Colliery site, between Staveley and Barrow Hill, is one of just six sites across the country shortlisted for the development by Spanish train manufacturer Talgo.
The Spanish rail giant is expected to reach a decision by November.
A new £9 million innovation and training centre is also planned to be built at Barrow Hill Engine Shed for Talgo to use and showcase its technologies.
Councillor Tricia Gilby, leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, said: “If our bid is successful it would be a massive boost to our economy in terms of employment opportunities for local people.
“Talgo’s commitment to a ‘true manufacturing’ approach would also create more opportunities for local businesses to supply components as part of the supply chain, which would help create more jobs and increase the positive impact on our economy.
“Talgo is a major player in the worldwide rail sector and one of the companies that HS2 has shortlisted to provide it with the high speed trains needed for the new rail network.”
If successful, building work would start in July 2020, ready for the train factory to open in December 2021.
But Coun Gilby added: “It is important to stress that we are only one of six shortlisted locations at the moment.
“No decision has been made so it is important that expectations are not raised at this stage.
“However, a huge amount of hard work has gone on behind the scenes to make the case for Talgo’s UK factory to be located in Chesterfield borough and we think we have a really strong bid.”
The news is being announced at a national conference in Birmingham today (Tuesday, October 9).
More as we get it.
The bid by Chesterdfield Borough Council highlights:
That remediation work is already underway to prepare the former Hartington Colliery site for development
Chesterfield’s location at the heart of both the existing rail network and the planned phase 2B of the HS2 rail network, which will see Chesterfield have an HS2 station and also an HS2 line maintenance depot at Staveley
Chesterfield’s excellent transport connectivity, with over 23 million people living within two hours’ drive, and four major airports and four sea ports within 90 minutes travel time
That an investment would create further regeneration and development opportunities related to HS2, as well as support the existing Staveley Works corridor development plans for 1,000 new homes, a new primary school and £50 million access road
The ability to offer Talgo access to the area’s world class rail supply chain and a highly skilled workforce