He was accompanied by Lord O’Neill, a Treasury minister in the previous Government and the former chief economist at Goldman Sachs. Mr Osborne toured the factory with chairman Sir Andrew Cook CBE, spoke to company staff and watched the manufacture of castings. Afterwards, he posted a message on his Twitter account to his 189,000 followers, saying “trains made here at William Cook are exported to Europe. Advanced manufacturing is a key strength of the Northern Powerhouse”.
The visit was part of the former Chancellor’s effort to maintain momentum in his vision to create a Northern Powerhouse.
Journalists from BBC Look North, BBC Radio Leeds and The Yorkshire Post also attended and interviewed Mr Osborne and Sir Andrew. Sir Andrew said:
“I am delighted to have had the opportunity of showing George Osborne our modern rail bogie component factory in Leeds.
“Better trains are essential if the Northern Powerhouse is ever going to get off the ground.
“It does concern me however that of the £1bn already committed for these new trains, as matters currently stand, train components will all be made in Spain and Japan.”