The construction of a new distribution centre for Network Rail has moved a step closer as the preferred contractor for the development has been chosen.

Buckingham Group will take over the £25 million project, which will see the centre being built on the former site of the Peugeot plant in Warwickshire. The rail company noted that this development will provide a major boost to the area, with officials stating that it will create around 100 jobs once it is up and running, marking significant growth for the employment sector in the Midlands region. Members from both Buckingham and Network Rail were present at the ground breaking ceremony in Ryton, near Coventry, which signalled the stated of the project.

Officials stated that the Warwickshire area was chosen due to its important transport links to roads such as the A45, M1 and M6. Network Rail was also keen to stress that the central location of Ryton was also significantly beneficial for the distribution of crucial parts to improve the UK's rails.

Martin Elwood of NR said: "Network Rail's first preference is to transport goods by rail. This is not always the right solution, so we have an extensive road fleet to transport goods and equipment to our work sites and depots.

"By bringing the logistics for this together at Ryton, we can offer a more effective and efficient service for Network Rail."

The move comes at a time when the UK's rail network is going through a number of changes following a government decision to strip First Group of the contract to control the west coast line. The deal was originally held by Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Trains and operated services from London to the north-west of England as well as further afield to Scotland.

Sir Richard has branded the situation "a fiasco" as the perspective bidder will now be reimbursed by the government to the tune of £40 million of the taxpayers' money as the contract once again goes up for grabs.

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