An estimated 200 new skilled jobs will be created at the renowned Railway Technical Centre (RTC) Business Park in Derby following the announcement of a £6m upgrade to the Park’s facilities, jointly funded through Derby City Council’s Regional Growth Fund programme and a cash injection by the RTC’s owners, London and Continental Railways (LCR).
The jobs will be created at the 28-acre London Road site, through a programme of modernisation that will improve the rail-connected workshop and other facilities and see over 50,000 sq ft of commercial floor space refurbished to transform the office accommodation. This will attract new companies to RTC and allow current firms to expand their operations. The range of office and other accommodation that will be offered will be attractive to both new start up companies as well as established enterprises.
The modernisation programme is being made possible thanks to a £2.24m award by Derby City Council from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund, which support projects and programmes that use private sector investment to create economic growth and sustainable employment. The Council’s award is being ‘matched’ by £3.8m of investment by LCR.
The RTC was founded over 40 years ago to create an internationally recognised centre of excellence in railway research and development. RTC is one of the major employment sites in Derby and home to a workforce of around 1,000. Most of this workforce is highly skilled – in technical and professional roles.
RTC has always been successful in retaining and attracting firms with a strong engineering interest. These include major employers in the rail sector, other engineering disciplines and training companies and higher education institutions. For example, Network Rail uses the extensive RTC rail facilities as a base for its track recording fleet, used to test track for the whole of the UK. The Centre for Railway Research and Education uses purpose built accommodation at RTC to carry out research into the aerodynamics of high speed trains. The University of Derby has the iD Centre offering fully supported incubation units for innovation and technology start up companies.
The £6m investment will help ensure that RTC continues to attract and retain rail companies and other engineering, research and consultancy-based tenants, generating additional employment for Derby. Construction work is expected to start on site in the summer and be completed by April 2015.
Adam Wilkinson, Chief Executive of Derby City Council, said: “The modernisation of the RTC Business Park is a key part of Derby’s Regional Growth Fund programme. It will maintain one of the key employment sectors in the city – the railway engineering sector – and ensure that RTC remains a world-class research and development centre. That will attract new businesses to the park, enable current businesses to expand their operations, and create highly-skilled, well-paid jobs for the people of Derby.
“At a time when Derby is celebrating its 175th year in the rail industry, this is the perfect way to invest in our strengths and ensure that the city remains a global engineering force for decades to come.”
David Joy, Chief Executive of LCR said: “LCR welcomes the opportunity to invest in RTC alongside Derby City Council. The investment will help transform RTC, providing existing and new tenants with new opportunities to grow their businesses.”
Innes England and Sanderson Weatherall are the joint agents marketing the site. Nick Hosking of Innes England said: ”There is a recognised under provision of quality office accommodation within the city and this investment is hugely beneficial in assisting the retention of existing key employers and also attracting new inward investment. It’s not only good news for the scheme but also for Derby itself.”