A MAJOR factory investment that could bring 700 new jobs has been welcomed in Selby and the East Riding.

Siemens has confirmed plans for a £200 million new state-of-the-art train factory in Goole, and the news has been welcomed by council leaders in the East Riding, as well as in Selby where they said local people could still benefit from the new jobs.

Selby District Council leader Cllr Mark Crane said: “I am delighted to hear Siemens have made this announcement. It’s a lot of jobs, and while they are not in our district I am sure many people living here will be interested in the jobs created.”

With bad news about the closure of the power station at Eggborough recently, Cllr Crane said the Siemens plan was all the more welcome.

Selby’s MP Nigel Adams added: “This investment by Siemens is more great news for our local economy as hundreds of skilled jobs will be created at the new Goole site.”

The 67 acre site is set to contain 12 km of rail track and buildings covering 75,000 sq m. Executives at the launch in Goole said the exact figures would depend on future orders, but said the firm envisaged the plant eventually producing trains for the British market at the rate of four per month.

Siemens’ chief executive Juergen Maier said the company had considered several sites in the UK, but had chosen Goole in part because it has ready access to a skilled workforce.

Meanwhile East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s leader Cllr Stephen Parnaby OBE, has said his authority will support the company and its ambitions, as it delivers “significant economic benefits” for the region.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, who was at the site just off the M62 yesterday, welcomed the investment as a “sign of confidence” in the UK.

He said: “I think it’s a vote of confidence first and foremost in Humberside. But it’s a sign that international businesses want to be in the United Kingdom and, for Government, it’s a sign that they are very welcome to be in the United Kingdom.”

Siemens said the new factory will create an additional 250 jobs during the construction phase, plus around 1,700 throughout the UK supply chain.