Alstom’s Derby plant to be saved after ‘intensive talks’, say reports

“Intensive” talks between Alstom, the Government and Transport for London with a view to placing a train order which will secure the future of the firm’s historic train-making plant in Derby have been successful, according to reports.

Hopes were raised on Tuesday afternoon (April 16) that thousands of jobs at the factory and in the local supply chain could be saved after Transport Secretary Mark Harper said he had been locked in negotiations with Alstom Group CEO Henri Poupart-Lafarge on the future of train manufacturing in the UK.

However, on Tuesday evening, The Telegraph quoted sources close to the talks which said that Harper has awarded a deal for 10 new trains to be built in Derby.

The new work will start in the first half of 2025 and cover an order drought before the Derby plant begins construction of a fleet of express trains for the HS2 line in mid-2026.

The move comes just days after a local campaign was launched by business leaders in the city, with the aim of persuading the Government to place an order for just five more trains with Alstom – a deal which would bring fresh hope for the Litchurch Lane plant.

An Alstom statement said: “We are now in a period of intense discussions with the Government and Transport for London about a potential train order for the Elizabeth line given the levels of passenger demand. This could help secure the future of the Litchurch Lane site. The parties have agreed to conclude discussions as soon as possible and no later than the end of May. We will be making no further comment at this time.”

Earlier this week, councillor Baggy Shankar, the leader of Derby City Council, has written to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Transport Secretary Mark Harper and Alstom’s managing director Nick Crossfield urging them to come together to save the Litchurch Lane plant, which is under serious threat of closure after running out of work.

The letter to Sunak says the closure of the plant is “unconscionable”.

At risk are 1,300 direct jobs in Derby and a further 15,000 jobs in supply chains across the country.