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Siemens To Build £100m R&D Centre For The UK’s Next-Gen Rail Technology

Siemens Mobility has announced a £100m R&D centre in the UK while the Chancellor has promised a £360m package to boost British manufacturing in a series of pre-Budget announcements.

The Siemens facility will employ around 800 workers to build next-generation signalling and control systems for Britain’s rail systems. It will replace the firm’s existing factory in Chippenham, Wiltshire, in 2026 and all its staff will be transferred.

The firm has long been a major contractor for building UK trains. In recent years, this has included trains for the London Underground  as well as the Great Northern franchise .

The company’s existing Chippenham factory has been producing equipment for rail infrastructure since the 19th century.

Rob Morris, joint CEO of Siemens Mobility UK & Ireland, said: “Siemens Mobility’s Chippenham site, along with our 30 sites across the country, has been transforming rail, travel and transport in Britain – and it will continue to do so with cloud-based rail technology connecting the real and the digital worlds, digitalising rail.”

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said: “This digital technology will improve the safety, reliability and connectivity of our railways and drive sustainable opportunities in higher-paid jobs and exports – as part of our plan to grow our economy.”

Ahead of the Budget on Wednesday, the Chancellor has also announced a £360m funding package to boost British manufacturing and R&D.

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Around £92m in joint government and industry investment will be used to expand facilities to manufacture life-saving medicines and diagnostics products. A £200m joint investment will go towards zero-carbon aircraft technology while almost £73m will go towards automotive technology.

Hunt also confirmed that companies will soon be able to apply for a share of the £520m funding for life sciences manufacturing announced in the Autumn Statement, with competitions for large-scale investments opening for expressions of interest this summer and SMEs in the autumn.

“We’re sticking with our plan by backing the industries of the future with millions of pounds of investment to make the UK a world leader in manufacturing, securing the highly skilled jobs of the future and delivering the long-term change our country needs to deliver a brighter future for Britain,” Hunt added.

A series of major announcements are expected for Wednesday’s Budget as it will be the last before the next general election. It is predicted that the Conservatives will launch policies designed to revive their flagging popularity.

Source: E&T


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