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3 minute read - 4th March 2024

Siemens to invest £100m at new Chippenham factory

Siemens is making a £100m investment to establish a cutting-edge rail infrastructure manufacturing, digital engineering and research & development (R&D) centre in Chippenham, underscoring its unwavering commitment to innovation, sustainability, excellence, and its campaign ‘to build in Britain with Britain built in’.

The new facility, set to replace the existing factory in 2026, is poised to be a cornerstone for Siemens’ future projects in rail technology, providing an efficient site to build the next generation of conventional and digital rail signalling and control systems for Britain. The transition, including the transfer of all local staff, totalling around 800, will not cause any interruption in production.

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Siemens is to invest £100m at a new rail infrastructure factory in Chippenham / Picture: Siemens Mobility

The factory is being constructed with the latest standards for highly efficient production, while the offices are designed to provide a modern, welcoming work environment to enable better collaboration and innovation. The interior will be modelled to account for the ‘new normal’ with many open and collaboration and meeting spaces, better facilities, relaxation areas and improved technology. The site, designed to blend in with its surroundings, will undergo an ecological assessment aiming for a 10% net increase in biodiversity through the planting of native plants and the creation of wildlife habitats.

Rob Morris, joint CEO of Siemens Mobility in the UK & Ireland, said: “This £100 million investment is a strong commitment to Chippenham and our country. Siemens Mobility’s Chippenham site, along with our 30 sites across the country, has been transforming rail travel and transport in Britain – and it will continue to do so with cloud-based rail technology connecting the real and the digital worlds, digitalising rail. We are very excited to soon start construction of one of the most sophisticated rail factories, digital engineering and R&D sites in the UK, supporting local jobs and skills for the future. There’s a piece of Britain in everything we build.”

Set to open in 2026, around 800 local manufacturing, research, engineering, and support staff will transition to the new site / Picture: Siemens Mobility

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, added: “This new commitment from Siemens is a big boost for Britain’s world-class manufacturing sector and shows our plan for the UK to be the best place to invest and grow a business is working. This digital technology will improve the safety, reliability and connectivity of our railways and drive sustainable opportunities in higher-paid jobs and exports – as part of our plan to grow our economy.”

Siemens says its Chippenham facility, the UK’s sole dedicated signalling and control facility, has been integral to its success in the UK and globally. The current factory, a hub for designing, manufacturing, and delivering signalling and control systems, has played a pivotal role in major projects such as the Elizabeth line, North Wales Coast, Birmingham New Street, and numerous global initiatives.

The current Siemens factory in Chippenham has a rich history, dating back to its establishment by signalling contractor Evans O’Donnell in 1897. Over the years, it underwent various transitions, including being acquired by the Westinghouse Brake & Signaling Company, before becoming part of Siemens global network of rail infrastructure production facilities in 2013. Siemens Mobility, a global leader in intelligent transport solutions, has been at the forefront of rail technology for over 175 years.

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