By Marcus Leach

Unite has branded the government's decision to award a contract to build new train carriages to a German-led consortium over Derby-based Bombardier as a disgraceful decision which is a hammer blow for the Derby area.

The government announced that the consortium led by Siemens had beaten Bombardier Transportation’s consortium to be preferred bidder for the 1,200 new carriage contract on the Thameslink route.

The decision puts a question mark over the future of Bombardier's Derby site, not to mention the local supply chain which has the biggest concentration of train supply companies the Europe.

Unite regional coordinating officer, Mark Young, said: "This news is a hammer blow for Derby and for British manufacturing. The government's decision to award this contract to a consortium which does not have British manufacturing and British job creation as its prime focus is absolutely disgraceful.

"The decision is a major blow for jobs in the East Midlands, not just at Bombardier but in the local supply chain, which has the largest concentration of train supply companies in the UK.

"There is no way that the Germans or the French would allow a strategically important manufacturing capability to be put at risk, particularly given that the train carriages will be built for the UK rail network.

"This decision is yet another example of the Tory-led government failing British manufacturing, and failing to protect and create the jobs which are so crucial to our economic recovery. Bombardier would have maximised UK manufacturing capability to build the trains, surely this would have been the best long term decision for Britain?

"Unite will now be seeking a meeting with Bombardier management to discuss ways to protect jobs in Derby."

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