New figures show Network Rail’s full contribution to the economy in the North West of England.(Network Rail)

New figures show Network Rail’s full contribution to the economy in the North West of England

The Network Arch Bridge at the Ordsall Chord in Manchester (Matthew Nichol Photography)

• Last year Network Rail spent £276 million with 324 North West-based businesses
• Ordsall Chord in Manchester supporting 2,000 jobs and engaging over 200 suppliers

Network Rail is supporting more than 9,000 jobs in the North West, it was revealed today.

Martin Frobisher, managing director for Network Rail’s London North Western route, said: “Today I can reveal Network Rail alone is supporting around 9,300 jobs across the North West of England and spending money with 324 local businesses.

“The railway is vital to economic growth. That’s why we’re spending £100m every week in Britain on our Railway Upgrade Plan. A great example of this plan in action is the Ordsall Chord in Manchester, supporting 2,000 jobs and involving over 200 suppliers.”

The Ordsall Chord, due to be completed by December, is a new section of track linking Manchester’s main stations – Piccadilly, Oxford Road and Victoria – opening up new direct routes to Manchester Airport from across the north, and easing congestion by a quarter through the city.

Last week, Ordsall’s 600-tonne arch, the only one of its kind in Britain, was craned into position by Severfield, a northern company who made the arch at their Bolton factory.

Chris Fletcher, Marketing & Policy Director at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce said:

“The focus on rail investment in the North West is hugely welcome. Whilst there will be immediate economic benefits from the delivery of these projects the main growth will happen in years to come.”

Jarrod Hulme, Project Manager for Severfield, said:

“Working on key rail projects, such as the Ordsall Chord, has helped Severfield grow enabling us to employ more staff in our factories in the north of England and develop local supply chains to support our business. Thanks to these type of projects we have also been able to invest in our apprentice and graduate schemes, which will help educate and train the next generation of specialist steel designers, technicians, fabricators and project managers for future development across the region.”

Notes:

• News of Network Rail’s boost to the economy in the north west follows the announcement last year that Network Rail is releasing land for up to 3,600 new homes in Manchester and the north.

• The Ordsall Chord, part of the Great North Rail Project, had around 200 people working on it two years ago, and has grown to over 2,000 at its peak (Christmas 2016). Over 3,000 staff have been inducted on to site so far.

• The Ordsall construction scheme is boosting the regional economy with around £80million being spent with companies within 25 miles of the project with 62% of those sub-contractors being SMEs (small and medium-sized businesses). The project has supported 15 apprentices and 20 graduates through Network Rail and their suppliers, investing in the careers of local people across the region.

Martin Frobisher added:

“We intend to keep contributing to the economy in the North West, working with local businesses and creating jobs for local people on improving the railway to bring more connectivity and even more prosperity to all.”

• To deliver the project Network Rail and their Alliance partners have called upon the skills and resources of over 200 different suppliers. They include signalling and gantry design, fabrication and installation, heritage and structural restoration of existing structures, demolition, insitu-reinforced concrete works, security services, labour hire, traffic management.

• Across the north west, Network Rail supports 9,300 local jobs with 4,737 people directly employed and a further 4,600 jobs in our supply chain

• The 4,737 people from the north west who work for Network Rail come from every part of the region, all 75 north west parliamentary constituencies.

• £100 million spent every single week by Network Rail on improving the railway in Britain

• Across Britain, Network Rail supports an estimated 154,350 jobs with 36,000 people directly employed and a further 117,750 jobs in our supply chain.

• During 2015/16, Network Rail spent £7 billion with 3,435 companies across Great Britain, 2500 of which were small or medium enterprises.

• Every day, moree than 4.5 million rail journeys are taken in Britain.