A NEW £30 million facility creating new trains is to be set up in Newport, creating 300 new jobs.

Spanish train manufacturer Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) has picked the Celtic Business Park on the south east of the city as the home for its new facility. The 46,000 sq m factory at the former Llanwern steelworks site will manufacture both diesel-powered and electric trains and trams and is planned to open in autumn 2018.

The firm has said Newport was chosen out of 100 possible locations in the UK, which was later cut down to a shortlist of four. First minister Carwyn Jones welcomed the announcement, calling it “a major coup for Wales and a big vote of confidence in our manufacturing industry”.

He said: “We are, once again, competing and beating others on the world stage to secure significant investment to Wales.

“This £30 million investment is a major economic boost that we hope will kick-start the growth of our rail sector and create hundreds of highly skilled, very well paid jobs.”

The company’s UK director Richard Garner said: “CAF is an established supplier to the UK market and we now have solid economic basis for further increasing our footprint in the UK.

“The establishment of this facility will serve CAF’s long-term aspirations to dominate the UK market for many years to come.”

Wales’ economy secretary Ken Skates also welcomed the news, which he said would “underpin the development of the rail sector in Wales and places us at the heart of an industry with massive growth potential”.

“As well as creating 300 high calibre jobs, it also coincides with our major Welsh Government Metro rail investment in south east Wales, details of which will be unveiled over the coming weeks,” he said.

And Welsh secretary Alun Cairns called the announcement “fantastic news for Newport”.

He said: “We must continue to be ambitious for Wales, and to make this country an attractive destination for investors.

“CAF is the latest major company to invest in Wales and is yet another strong endorsement of the skill base and the business environment we are cultivating here.”