PLANS for Longannet are speeding up as Talgo look set to make big announcements in the coming weeks.

The Spanish manufacturer told the Press that construction of their train plant at the former power station in Kincardine could take place earlier than expected.

Jon Veitch, Talgo’s UK director, said: “We’re busy with bids, not just with HS2 (a lucrative £2.5 billion contract), but with others across Europe. There’s going to be a couple of really positive announcements in the next week or so about our achievements which could really change the dynamics of Longannet.

“We’re already at capacity in Spain for building trains, so we may need to accelerate things at Longannet which is always a good problem to have.

“We’re busy with the planning applications just now. We’re focusing on firstly winning a bid which will then determine the production output of Longannet. If we’re successful for other contracts in Europe in the coming weeks, that may lead to us improving the time that Longannet will be ready by. It’s really exciting stuff.”

Talgo announced in November that Longannet was their preferred site for building their high-speed trains as part of £40 million investment plans.

A total of 1,000 direct jobs will be created, as well as 6,000 in the local area. Work on the plant will begin the day after a train order is placed, and Mr Veitch said Longannet’s history and location will play a key factor in their designs.

He said: “We’re respecting how iconic Longannet is. We’re active just now with some very serious architects that will complement the area. World-renowned architects. We don’t want just a box. We want something that’s going to stand out to everybody.

“This is going to be something that captures the imagination of the local area and the people. We’re looking at architects who have built some serious structures across the world.

“This is a long-term commitment to the area, the community and the country. This isn’t being built just for one contract. This is for generations.”

Talgo are currently working with Scottish Enterprise on the planning applications and they held a supply chain event in Glasgow last week.

Fife Council are also involved and spokesman Gordon Mole said: “That includes working actively with Talgo and the Longannet site owners in addition to assisting Talgo with how best they engage with the local labour market to ensure that the new jobs created benefit Fifers and those beyond.

“Work has also been undertaken to identify relevant supply chain companies within Fife, who could serve the new Talgo manufacturing facility, which it is intended will be operational, subject to necessary statutory consents, by 2023.”