Hitachi is set to move into a London office in order to make the UK capital its global rail HQ according to new reports.
With the move, the rail giant expects to increase its staff numbers in the UK by almost ten times the current amount, with its staff of 200 set to soar to beyond 1,800 within as little as two or three years.
The move also means key decisions previously made in the firm’s native Japan will now be shifted to the London offices.
Discussing the news, Business Secretary, Vince Cable, said: “”This move demonstrates a huge vote of confidence in Britain, its workers and its rail industry from one of Japan’s biggest businesses.
“It follows the company’s announcement last year of 750 new jobs at their factory in Newton Aycliffe, which I was delighted to launch with Patrick McLoughlin.”
The Japanese conglomerate made the high-speed Javelin trains, operational on the route from Kent to St Pancras, and is expected to bid on contracts for HS2.
The firm is looking to have the new purpose-build factory in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham operational next year, with full production starting in 2016.
Cable added: “It’s further testament to the Government’s industrial strategy which is giving companies of Hitachi’s stature the confidence to invest in the UK in an expanding rail sector, creating new jobs and increasing exports that will help sustain long-term economic growth.”
Alastair Dormer, who will change his role at Hitachi from executive chairman of Hitachi Rail Europe to Global CEO as part of the overall switch to a London HQ, said: “Both the UK and Japan remain important as markets for Hitachi Rail, and with our train factory in the North East of England now under construction, we will work to realise our export potential from the UK, expanding into Europe and emergent markets.
“We will continue to deliver excellent service to our customer base whilst seeking new markets and opportunities for expansion.”
By: Kirsty MacGregor
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