Bombardier’s Derby factory will remain open for further two years

Posted on 10 Feb 2012

Although the decision by the Canadian engineering group to keep the Derby factory open will save the jobs of roughly 1,600 employees, operations at the site are only safeguarded until 2014.

The future of the factory has been in doubt since Bombardier missed out on a £1.4 billion rail contract, which was awarded to German industrial group Siemens on the basis of value for money, according to the Government.

Workers at the plant thanked the people of Derby for their support and for “sticking by them” throughout the eight months of negotiations between Bombardier and the Unions.

There are still contracts being awarded to the company – it was selected for a £188m Southern Railway contract, and the Government indicated it would choose Bombardier to work on a project worth £127m to upgrade existing Voyager trains.

The campaign run by people loyal to the workers at the Derby plant involved 10,000 people taking to the streets, over 50,000 petition signatures and hundreds of Bombardier workers travelling to London to protest outside the Houses of Parliament.

Peter Richardson, chairman of the Derby Renaissance Board, and John Forkin, managing director of Marketing Derby, flew to Berlin to meet with Bombardier’s Transportation Department bosses just after the Government awarded the £1.4bn contract to Siemens.

Mr Richardson said: “I’m absolutely delighted that Bombardier has now taken the decision to stay. The Derby Telegraph played an essential role. It rallied support and acted as a crucial mouthpiece.”

Mr Forkin commented: “[The decision] is fantastic news. It would have been an act of economic madness if as a country we had lost the ability to manufacture trains. It is important that Bombardier is allowed to bid on a level playing field for future contracts, starting with the massive Crossrail deal.”