CAF welcomed VIP visitors to its new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility at the Celtic Business Park site in Newport, South Wales, on Friday.
Jessica Morden, Labour MP for Newport East, and John Griffiths, Labour AM for Newport East, were shown round the ground-breaking factory – which will build suburban and metro trains, high-speed trains and trams – by CAF UK Director Richard Garner.
The fact-finding visit included viewing the production bays where facilities include testing, painting and assembly areas. Miss Morden and Mr Griffiths were also shown the first three Arriva Northern Class 195 DMU Civity bodyshells.
Jessica Morden MP commented: “I’m delighted to have been invited to see the brand new CAF factory at Llanwern. This is an exciting development for Newport. It’s particularly pleasing as it is bringing hundreds of high quality manufacturing jobs to Newport.
“CAF’s role in the Welsh Government’s new ambitious transport plans means that more than half of all new trains on the Welsh network will be assembled right here in Newport – contributing towards this significant modernisation of the Welsh railways.”
John Griffiths AM said: “I very much enjoyed visiting the new CAF train factory in Llanwern with Jessica Morden MP. CAF were successful in their bid to produce trains for the newly-awarded Wales and Borders franchise. The factory in Llanwern will create 300 new jobs for Newport and beyond.
“The visit was very interesting, and I was glad to receive an update on the factory’s progress and the work which will be undertaken there. I am sure the factory will become a real asset for our city and the UK manufacturing industry as a whole.”
Richard Garner added: “It was a pleasure to welcome both Miss Morden and Mr Griffiths to our new factory. They were both engaged and interested in our business and day-to-day operations.
“The new manufacturing facility is key to CAF’s growing business operations within the UK and delivering manufacturing contracts the company has already secured.”
CAF has invested £30m to get the new factory up and running and received significant grant support from the Welsh Government’s Inward Investment Programme.
The factory has provided job opportunities for skilled technicians and engineers, management and support staff, as well as apprenticeships. A number of new staff are currently undertaking training in Spain.
The new manufacturing facility will boost the wider UK rail industry supply chain as CAF plans to develop a “cluster” of local and national companies to supply components for its trains.
A global manufacturer of specialist railway products, components and systems, CAF investigated more than 100 locations across the UK before selecting Celtic Business Park for its 46,000 square metre factory site. The location was chosen for its links to roads, rail and ports, as well as the availability of local people with engineering skills.