International rail firm Talgo, which is planning on building a factory in the UK creating thousands of jobs has shortlisted Chesterfield as one of two potential locations.
If the borough’s bid is successful the former Hartington Colliery site, between Staveley and Barrow Hill, would become home to a factory which would create 1,000 high quality jobs.
Chesterfield was one of six locations shortlisted, but has been announced in the final two potential sites by the firm, alongside Longannet, Scotland.
The manufacturing site would also create an estimated 4,000 jobs in the supply chain for the region, as well as apprenticeship, training and educational opportunities.
Chesterfield Borough Council has been working with a range of partners on the bid to encourage Talgo to locate the factory in the borough.
Councillor Tricia Gilby, leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, said: “This is a once in a generation opportunity and 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.
“ 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 shortlist represents the latest phase in a search that has lasted eighteen months, crossed much of Britain, and seen very detailed discussions with land owners, development agencies, local authorities, research establishments, schools, colleges and universities.
Carlos de Palacio - President of Talgo, said: "The establishment of a manufacturing facility in the UK is a significant part of Talgo’s future strategy.
“Talgo’s aim is to establish true manufacturing – rather than assembling from parts made elsewhere. This means that we will draw from materials and expertise across the UK.
“This keeps more money in the UK economy, and creates more skilled long-term jobs.
“Talgo also wants to develop a UK testing centre, and acceptance ability, to ensure a smooth and faultless introduction of new trains into service. We are excited about the opportunity that Wales has taken for testing - for the benefit of the UK – and we want to work with the Wales team on some aspects of this.
“Although there can only be one factory site, we have established lasting relationships with all of the countries, regions and areas that we have visited. We are now developing those relationships, to ensure that – irrespective of the factory location - Talgo provides great opportunities across the UK.
A final decision on a factory site is anticipated in mid-November 2018.