Northern TUC welcomes Hitachi decision to help get the region ‘Back on Track'

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date: 1st March 2011

embargo: for immediate release

In response to the long-awaited parliamentary announcement from the Minister of Transport, Phillip Hammond, giving the go-ahead to the Intercity Express Programme Northern TUC Regional Secretary, Kevin Rowan said: 'The Secretary of State's announcement today is very good news indeed for County Durham and the wider north east economy. The creation of much needed construction jobs now will be a welcome relief in that sector, but the creation of over 500 high quality manufacturing jobs for the long term and around 9,000 jobs in the supply chains is an incredible boost for the people of the area and will breathe a new confidence and optimism into some of the communities hardest hit by the recession and with much to fear from public spending cuts.

'The announcement comes on the back of an excellent, concerted and cohesive campaign in the region. All of the region's partners have been urging the government to follow through on this investment, trade unions, business leaders, local government have all lobbied hard for this decision, but no-one has worked harder than Phil Wilson, Member of Parliament for Sedgefield. Phil has been a tremendous champion for this project, ceaseless in his efforts to bring prosperity to the area and I am personally delighted that he has seen all of this finally pay off.

'This is bringing train manufacturing home, where it all began. What we all need to do now is to make sure that all of the right support in developing skills of future workers and the infrastructure around Newton Aycliffe up to the levels they need to be to enable Hitachi to hit the ground running and build on a tremendous opportunity for the north east.'

NOTES TO EDITORS:

- Northern TUC press releases www.tuc.org.uk/northern national releases www.tuc.org.uk and www.twitter.com/tucnews

- Register for the TUC's press extranet: a service exclusive to journalists wanting to access pre-embargo releases and reports www.tuc.org.uk/pressextranet

- For TUC advice and information on the world of work www.workSMART.org.uk

Media contacts:

Kevin Rowan, Northern TUC Regional Secretary T: 0191 227 5565; M: 07766250074; E: krowan@tuc.org.uk

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