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

Network Rail is supporting more than 9,000 jobs in the North West of England, 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 £100 million 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.’