Hitachi Rail’s £82m Rail Vehicle Manufacturing Facility was officially opened by David Cameron who hailed it as a sign of a manufacturing revival in north east England during his visit to Newton Aycliffe.
The Ryder designed factory will house the manufacturing of the Government’s new InterCity Express (IEP) trains for the East Coast Main Line, Great Western Main Line and AT200 commuter trains for Scotland.
Over 500 guests including Japanese Ambassador to the UK, Mr Keiichi Hayashi, attended the opening ceremony which involved guided tours and the unveiling of the first fully fitted out IEP train.
The project required close collaboration between Ryder’s design process, the client Hitachi and developer, Merchant Place. The result is a simple but striking building, which provides a functional and energy efficient workplace housing one of Europe’s state of the art train production facilities. The factory fulfils advanced manufacturing functions as well as Hitachi’s desire to make a bold statement of their major UK investment.
Mark Thompson, Ryder managing partner said “To produce something on this scale that meets such rigorous client requirements and has such architectural merit is quite a feat.
“This, combined with the launch of our redesigned Reece Group offices at Armstrong Works (a facility we originally designed back in the 80s) marks a special period for Newcastle City Region and the re emergence of manufacturing across the region.”