News story

Siemens announces £100m investment for R&D facility in Britain

Siemens Mobility to invest £100 million in a brand-new manufacturing and R&D centre in Chippenham.

  • Over 800 skilled workers will build the next generation of rail signalling and control systems for Britain, keeping the rail and transport network on track.
  • Chancellor champions growth opportunities of innovation in technology on same day that over £360 million of investment into advanced manufacturing is announced.

Siemens has announced it is to invest £100 million in a centre of manufacturing excellence in Wiltshire.

The new cutting-edge facility will replace the company’s current Chippenham factory, from which generations of British workers have designed, manufactured and delivered signalling and control systems for the Elizabeth Line, North Wales Coast, Birmingham New Street and many others across the world since the 19th Century.

The new centre is expected to be operational by 2026, with around 800 skilled manufacturing, research, engineering and reporting roles transitioning to the new site and no interruption in production.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt said:

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.

Joint CEO of Siemens Mobility UK & Ireland, Rob Morris, said:

This €115 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, digitalizing 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.

Siemens’ investment comes on the advent of one of the most significant modernisation programmes in two centuries of Britain’s railways, with digital rail systems set to better connect communities and make it easier for people to access a wider range of job opportunities.

The plans are also expected to be a boost for the local economy in Chippenham and the wider Wiltshire region, with Siemens Mobility working closely with local small and medium enterprises across the supply chain. As part of today’s investment, Siemens Mobility will continue to develop and code the digital signalling systems to transform rail travel on the East Coast Main Line.

British manufacturing is of great strategic importance for the country on the global stage. The sector makes up over 40% of all UK exports, employs around 2.6 million people and overtook France for output in 2021. To capitalise on this success, the government published its Advanced Manufacturing Plan last year to ensure the UK continues to lead in the development and deployment of digital manufacturing technologies.

This was published shortly after the Chancellor announced £4.5 billion of funding for strategic manufacturing sectors in the UK as part of his Autumn Statement, including £960 million earmarked for a Green Industries Growth Accelerator to support clean energy. It was announced today this is to be boosted by an up to further £120 million increase. This funding will be available from next year for five years, providing industry with longer term certainty about their investments in line with Prime Minister’s focus on making long-term decisions to grow the economy.

Mr Hunt also announced Full Expensing to support manufacturers in investing for less. As the biggest British business tax cut in history – made possible by the progress the government has made on the people’s economic priorities - this represents an effective corporate tax cut of £55 billion over the next five years and will help manufacturers invest in plant and machinery technologies. The Chancellor outlined at a Make UK event last week how this will benefit hard-working Brits and help to close the productivity gap with the likes of France and Germany – two economies which the UK has grown faster than since 2010.

Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch said:

Our plan for attracting more inward investment into the UK is working. From the measures in our advanced manufacturing plan that offer certainty to investors, to promoting the UK at our Global Investment Summit, the Government is making sure that investors, like Siemens, choose the UK.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said:

This vital investment will help futureproof our rail network as part of our plan to deliver more reliable journeys for millions of passengers across the country through important upgrades.

Rail manufacturing plays an important role in our economy, supporting thousands of skilled jobs, with this new facility supporting hundreds more.

Siemens’ investment comes on the same day that the government announced over £360 million will be invested in advanced manufacturing and the life sciences, securing thousands of jobs and building a stronger economy including through the further investment it will help to leverage over the long-term through the private sector. The UK has attracted more new investment since 1997 than any other European nation, and last year’s Global Investment Summit confirmed over £29.5 billion of additional investment in Britain.

Additional Information

Published 4 March 2024