Bombardier awarded £15m ScotRail contract

Train maker Bombardier has 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.

A spokesperson for Bombardier said the deal, to support ScotRail's Class 170 Turbostar fleet, was "significant".

But the RMT union expressed frustration that there was no review of the £1.4bn Thameslink contract.

It was awarded to German firm Siemens in June, prompting Bombardier to cut 1,400 jobs.

Campaigners - including local politicians, unions and businesses - have since urged the government to reverse its decision to help save British jobs.

Last week, East Midlands Labour MEP Glenis Willmott said she had received confirmation from the European Commission that it would not punish the UK government if it restarted the tendering process.

'Golden opportunity'

But speaking at the Derby plant earlier, Ms Villiers said re-tendering was not an option as it would mean delaying the rail investment programme for a number of years, which would be too costly for the taxpayer and could risk court action.

She said: "The government's determined to help Bombardier and Derby at this difficult time.

"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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