Hitachi Rail Vehicle Manufacturing Facility Opens

Sept. 4, 2015

Merchant Place Developments Limited are delighted to have been the developers of Hitachi's new Rail Vehicle Manufacturing Facility in Newton Aycliffe, the official opening of which is happened Sept. 3.

Geoff Hunton of Merchant Place Developments Limited says: "We were pleased to win the contract to bring Hitachi to our site, after a competition against some 42 alternative sites. We are now even more delighted to see our work largely done with handover of the completed building to Hitachi Rail in mid July 2015 and the official opening today."

Michael Chicken, chief executive of Merchant Place Developments Ltd. and Merchant Place Corporate Finance Limited says, "Our investors originally funded this site acquisition back in 2007 through an unregulated collective scheme (a much less favoured type of funding today). It will have been over 8 years before investors see a return. We are now looking forward to working with the team to build out the balance of the site as we find new occupiers over the coming months and years. This project has been a funding challenge (bringing investors together in 2007 to take on the risk of buying a bare site with no occupiers); it has been a challenge obtaining planning permission (with the need to move protected newts from the immediate site); and it has been a challenge to complete the factory (including the connection of the site to the local branch line network and to provide a test track for the new trains). However we are now there and we are happy and proud to have met these challenges and to see Hitachi's celebrations on their opening ceremony. It will all feel worthwhile when we start seeing trains roll out of the factory in 2016. We congratulate Hitachi at this very significant time."