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17 Apr 2024

Proposed lifeline for Derby train factory gets Chamber member support

Secretary of State Mark Harper has pledged possible investment for ten new trains at Derby’s Alstom train factory, following a campaign led by Marketing Derby and backed by over 200 East Midlands Chamber members and over 300 Derby Bondholders. 

 A proposed rescue solution for the Litchurch Lane factory, at risk of closure due to a lack of orders ahead of HS2 in 2026, was put forward to the government by Derby City Council and Marketing Derby after months of talks failed.  Following funding approval for five Aventra train orders last month, Mark Harper has now pledged a further five “in principle.”

East Midlands Chamber Chief Executive Scott Knowles said: “The strength of feeling among the East Midlands business community to save Litchurch Lane has been phenomenal and it’s no surprise that over 200 of our members joined businesses and Marketing Derby Bondholders to give their support so quickly.  The factory’s importance at the heart of UK train manufacture – the only such site in the country where the entire process from blueprint to building, testing to trains on the tracks – cannot be understated.   With uncertainty hanging over thousands of jobs in Derbyshire and many more in the wider national supply chain for many months now, there was concern across the East Midlands as talks led nowhere.

“The campaign spearheaded by Marketing Derby and the city council has been a pivotal moment in securing this pledge of support from the Department of Transport. At the very least this news is the strongest lifeline indicator yet that a workable solution is in reach, so I would urge the government to get this deal approved and over the line, without further delay.”