Responding to today’s announcement regarding the Intercity Express Programme, Stewart Watkins, managing director of County Durham Development Company (CDDC), the strategic investment arm of Durham County Council, said:

Responding to today’s announcement regarding the Intercity Express Programme, Stewart Watkins, managing director of County Durham Development Company (CDDC), the strategic investment arm of Durham County Council, said:

 “This is undoubtedly one of the best pieces of news for the County Durham economy for some time.

 “In many ways, this is the perfect project for Newton Aycliffe and the wider County Durham. It is bringing rail manufacturing back to its birthplace, it will contribute significantly towards rebalancing the economy, it is a significant inward investment bringing a global company to the area, there is a strong commitment to apprenticeships and training as well as a hefty positive knock-on effect on indirect jobs. Add to these the long-term benefits of raised aspirations among young people and the feelgood factor for the local community  and you have a recipe for sustained economic success for years to come.

 “Durham County Council and CDDC have worked tirelessly in support of Merchant Developments to make Amazon Park a reality. The work by all the partners has been rewarded by Hitachi’s decision to base its manufacturing operations at Newton Aycliffe. It is a tribute to Geoff Hunton and his team at Merchant that we will see such significant investment coming to County Durham.”

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