By Marcus Leach

Bombardier, the train maker who controversially lost out on the Thameslink contract, have been awarded a £15m three-year maintenance contract from ScotRail.

The announcement was made during a visit by Transport Minister Theresa Villiers to Derby's Litchurch Lane plant.

Despite this significant contract being awarded the Transport Minister used the occasion as a chance to further express frustration at the lack of review of the £1.4 billion Thameslink contract.

The decision to award that contract to German firm Siemens caused outrage and prompted Bombardier to cut 1,400 jobs.

"The government's determined to help Bombardier and Derby at this difficult time," Ms Villiers said.

"That's why we've set up an economic taskforce which has been helping people affected by job losses and that's why only a couple of weeks ago the government gave provisional approval to a £40m regional growth fund bid to help Derby."

Bob Crow, general secretary of the Rail Maritime and Transport union, said: "The scandal of the betrayal of Bombardier has been dragging on for months.

"We understand that the Siemens bid for the Thameslink fleet contract is bogged down in the global financial crisis.

"That gives Theresa Villiers and the government a golden opportunity to call a halt to this stitch-up and award the work to the Bombardier Derby plant, saving thousands of jobs in the process," he said.

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