UK: Harry Needle Railway Co has secured £2m in funding from Frontier Development Capital to support a £6·2m plan to expand its engineering capabilities and modify locomotives to lower emissions.

The funding is from FDC’s Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative Recycled Fund, which aims to help businesses by providing loans to drive growth and generate jobs. FDC said the plans would see private sector leverage of £4·3m, and could lead to the creation of 50 jobs over the next five years.

HNRC was established in 1999 and now has three sites providing rail engineering and support services. It previously secured a £1·6m loan from FDC in 2019 to purchase and refurbish one of its Workshop sites.

The latest investment announced on March 15 will add an engineering shed, paint shop and track at its sites in Worksop and Chesterfield. Its greener locomotives R&D programme will be expanded, with the modification of existing locomotives to improve engine combustion, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase sustainable fuel use while ensuring the vehicles remain cost-effective.

‘HNRC has established itself as a leading provider of advanced rail engineering and support services’, said Managing Director Harry Needle. ‘This further investment plan reflects our ongoing commitment to expand our range of rail engineering and support services as well as reduce our carbon footprint by developing greener locomotives for ourselves and for our customers.’

FDC Investment Director Jack Glonek said ‘this investment is an excellent opportunity for HNRC to expand and improve its green credentials and support job creation.’