Close to 1,000 jobs are destined for Newton Aycliffe, with thousands more in the supply chain for County Durham and Tees Valley, as Hitachi is given the go-ahead.
Construction on the new train-building factory will start straight away, offering hundreds of construction jobs.
The news came after the Government announced last year that they wanted Hitachi to build the new trains for the East Coast mainline, known as the Intercity Express Programme (IEP).
The Intercity Express Programme was set-up under the previous Labour Government and local campaigners, led by Phil Wilson MP, fought tooth-and-nail to ensure the Coalition did not drop the plans.
Support from Merchant Developments, Durham County Council, One North-East, the Federation of Small Business, North East Chamber of Commerce, the Northern TUC, UNITE, the Northern Echo, MPs and thousands of people helped to bring IEP to the county.
Phil Wilson MP said: “This marks what could be the beginning of a new business era for Newton Aycliffe, Tees Valley, County Durham and the North-East.
“It has the potential to be the new Nissan for the region, and I think in future we’ll look back at this day as one of the most important and historic days in terms of business and jobs.
“I’d like to thank all those who joined the campaign to ensure Hitachi came to Newton Aycliffe.
“The ambitions of Hitachi Rail Europe are in the name. The company wants to build trains in Newton Aycliffe and export them to the rest of Europe.
“We knew it was coming, I had no doubt we’d get it across the line, but it’s fantastic news to hear it officially confirmed, as I know Hitachi are keen to start work straight away.”
Hitachi selected Newton Aycliffe, over 42 other locations, for its new factory because of the skills of the local people and the connection to the East Coast mainline.
The fact that the new trains will enter the rail network along the route originally used by George Stephenson over 187 years ago in 1825 was an added bonus, and it would seem train building has now come full circle.
Trains will start to leave the factory in 2015, once the factory has been built. The Intercity Express Programme, a Labour initiative devised to bring a major manufacturing and jobs to the UK, proves what can be done to boost the economy.
The Coalition now needs to devise other job creating initiatives to get the country out of the double-dip recession they have created.