Industrial giant Siemens has confirmed its commitment to building a factory in Goole, east Yorkshire, despite jitters in the manufacturing sector over Brexit.
Siemens' head of rolling stock William Wilson told City A.M. that the firm, which won a £1.5bn contract to build Transport for London's (TfL) new Piccadilly Line trains, is "committed to building our factory in Goole, regardless of the Brexit outcome".
He also said there was "no question mark" over whether the trains would be built in Britain.
The status of the factory, which has not yet been built, was temporarily queried after rival bidders Bombardier and Hitachi launched a legal challenge against TfL's decision to award Siemens the contract, under which the firm will build 94 new trains for the Piccadilly Line as part of TfL's deep tube upgrade.
However, in November last year the High Court lifted the temporary restriction that had prevented TfL from physically signing the contract with Siemens, paving the way for the factory to be built. The legal dispute remains ongoing.
City A.M. understands Siemens will also use the Goole factory to build trains for HS2 if it wins the contract to build trains for the £56bn railway.
The commitment from Siemens comes after car manufacturing giant Honda announced it was closing its Swindon plant with the loss of 3,500 jobs, and Nissan confirmed it was moving production of its SUV X-Trail model to Japan, in part due to uncertainties around Brexit.
As part of its Brexit contingency planning, Siemens has stockpiled a number of materials such as brake pads, bearings, adhesives and fasteners in case its supply chain gets interrupted.
A spokesperson for Siemens said: "Siemens Mobility has mobilised its project to build a factory in Goole, east Yorkshire, to manufacture and commission state-of-the-art trains for the expanding UK market. This is a long-term plan to develop a sustainable rail manufacturing facility focused on technology development.
"These plans gained further confirmation in November 2018 following the signing of the £1.6bn contract by London Underground Limited (a subsidiary of Transport for London) for Siemens Mobility to design and build a new generation of trains for the Piccadilly Line."
They continued: "The Siemens Mobility UK localisation team, tasked with building the train manufacturing facility in Goole, has established an office in east Yorkshire, with recruitment under way for key project roles.
"The team is focused on securing outline planning permission for the site. Positive and ongoing dialogue has been established with the local authority, statutory bodies and other stakeholders, including community representatives, and it is anticipated an outline planning application will be submitted in March."