Spanish rolling stock engineering company Talgo, which specialises in manufacturing fast, lightweight trains for countries like the USA and Saudi Arabia, announced this morning the Longannet site – which has been undergoing a process of demolition – is the preferred location for its new factory.
According to Talgo, the Longannet factory would initially occupy an area of 70,000 square metres and its construction would take 18 months with at least a thousand
people working on site once it was complete.
Opened in 1973, Longannet’s coal fired power station was the last of its kind in Scotland and closed its doors for good back in March 2016, leading to 230 job losses.
Talgo stated a range of factors influenced the choice of Longannet as its preferred site, including excellent connectivity by sea, rail and road, the availability of skilled workers and the ability to create a pipeline of engineers and innovators to grow capability, a tremendous “can do” attitude on the part of all partners brought together by Scottish Enterprise and a credible evidence-base to provide assurance the facility could be ready on budget and on time.
The choice of factory location and Talgo’s development of an “all Britain” strategy results from a search that lasted eighteen months, crossed much of the UK, and has seen very detailed discussions with land owners, development agencies, local authorities, research establishments, schools, colleges and Universities.
Carlos de Palacio, Talgo president and grandson of the firm’s founder, said: “This has been a tremendously challenging mission for Talgo, and I have personally seen excellence in all corners of the UK.
“It has been a difficult decision to make, as the quality has been so high in so many places. The establishment of a manufacturing facility at Longannet is a significant part of Talgo’s future strategy.
“I want to congratulate Paul Lewis and Scottish Enterprise, for bringing together a wide-ranging team of industrialists, academics, politicians, civil servants and development experts. Their efforts are a credit to Scotland.
“Talgo’s aim is to establish true UK manufacturing – rather than assembling from parts made elsewhere. This will be a team effort, requiring the ‘Best of British’. Our 18-month mission has revealed a determination and willingness across Britain to do just that.”
“Talgo’s approach keeps more money in the UK economy, and creates more skilled long-term jobs.”
Talgo’s UK director Jon Veitch added: “This is not only an exciting day for Talgo, it is an exciting day for the UK, too. Talgo wants to see a steady supply of engineers and other skilled people enter the workforce, and be the innovators of the future.”