SPANISH MANUFACTURER CAF has announced plans to build a new factory at Newport in South Wales.

The 46,000 square metre facility will be built on land previously occupied by Llanwern steelworks, adjacent to the South Wales main line. It has been designed so the manufacturer can build a range of vehicles, including DMUs, EMUs, high-speed trains and trams. CAF says it is targeting more contract wins in the UK, including projects with Transport for London for London Underground and the Docklands Light Railway, as well as High Speed 2 and the Wales and Borders, West Midlands and South Eastern franchises. The facility will employ 200 people when it opens in autumn 2018, rising to 300 by 2019, including training and apprenticeship schemes.

CAF currently has contracts worth over £1 billion to supply rolling stock for Caledonian Sleeper, Northern and TransPennine Express, with these vehicles being built in Spain. It has also supplied trams for Edinburgh and the Midland Metro. The manufacturer says it looked at 100 locations throughout the UK before choosing the Newport site from a shortlist of four. The site was selected because of its links to roads, rail and ports as well as the availability of local people with engineering skills.

CAF is investing £30 million to get the factory up and running and has received grant support from the Welsh Government’s Inward Investment Programme. It also plans to develop a ‘cluster’ of local and national companies to supply components for its trains.