Plans to move the headquarters of rail operator Keolis UK from London to Wales moved a step closer this week.
Following award of the contract for the Wales and Borders rail service and South Wales Metro to KeolisAmey last year, Keolis UK announced it will move its headquarters from London to a new office in Wales by 2019, and will relocate its global rail division from Paris to Wales by 2020.
This week the Minister met with Guillaume Pepy, Chair of Keolis parent company SNCF, in Cardiff Bay to discuss progress on the Keolis UK HQ move to Wales and further collaboration opportunities between Wales and France.
The Minister said:
“Guillaume Pepy has been instrumental in reforming the French railway industry since his appointment as Chairman of SNCF in 2008. He brings with him a great depth of experience in the rail industry and expertise in how new rail operators KeolisAmey, operating as Transport for Wales, will make a positive impact to our transport sector
“This partnership strengthens European economic links and I am delighted that work to move Keolis’ headquarters to Cardiff is progressing well . Working in collaboration with European transport industry leaders is key in helping us achieve our vision of creating a world class transport network of which the people of Wales can be proud."
Guillaume Pepy said:
“I am very impressed by Wales’ determination to enhance the country’s future through a modern public transport system. SNCF is fully committed to supporting the success of this strategy.”
In addition to the Keolis commitment, Amey announced it will open a new design hub in Wales where it will offer consultancy services and further jobs will be created when the companies open a shared services and customer contact centre providing services to both businesses.
The £5bn investment committed as part of the new Transport for Wales passenger service agreement is set to create 600 new jobs, with 30 new apprenticeships to be created every year.