A new website has been set up allowing North East businesses to bid for millions of pounds worth of supply chain contracts for the new Hitachi rail project.
Hitachi have already stated their intention to use local North East businesses wherever possible, in the same way as the Sunderland Nissan plant. The Hitachi project is expected to support up to 3,800 jobs in the region by 2016.
Managing director of Hitachi Rail Europe, Alistair Dormer, said: “It will be quite a while before people in Newton Aycliffe will see activity on the site we are looking at for our rolling stock factory. But even before the construction starts, we want to build a good understanding of local businesses, find out where there are strengths, and which companies we can approach once the factory is ready to go to work. Hitachi takes great pride in being a part of the community and that involves working with local people and companies wherever possible.”
Stewart Watkins, managing director of County Durham Development Company (CDDC) who set up the website, said: “The Hitachi Rail development represents a massive opportunity for County Durham and the North East and our businesses need to step up to the plate early if we are to take advantage of this.
“By signing up online, businesses will officially register their interest in being part of the supply chain, allowing them to stake their claim on what could potentially be, significant contract opportunities.”