More than 80 Welsh companies came together at Celtic Manor for the Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) Supplier Day, a venture hosted by the Advanced Materials and Manufacturing section of the Welsh Government.

The expression of interest from local Welsh and UK companies for the venture was astounding; with more than 200 suppliers interested in interacting with CAF on projects across the UK, including its new manufacturing base set to open in Newport.

A total of 82 of these interested parties were invited to take part in the first supplier day to hear CAF’s current and future plans.

It was also an opportunity for local companies to showcase their talents for the chance to work with the global train manufacturer, which is consistently demonstrating growth in the UK market with four successful contracts won in 2017 worth in excess of £1.2bn.

Representatives from CAF provided explanations of the recently obtained contracts, goals for the future and the expectations and opportunities for the local supply chain, including the new manufacturing plant in Newport, and its ongoing tendering opportunities for the new train franchise competitions in the UK including Wales and Borders and South Wales Metro

CAF has already shown its determination to work closely with local Welsh companies, engaging with St Modwen (landowner and developer) and Bowmer & Kirkland (principal contractor) in the construction of the factory on part of the former Llanwern Steelworks site.

Many of the materials used have been sourced from Wales such as steel reinforcement used in the concrete foundations as well as the wall cladding and roofing.

Richard Garner, business development director for the UK and Ireland, said: “The success of this event underlines CAF’s commitment to establish a locally based supply chain to support its activities not just for the new factory but also in the important after-sales market.

"Many of the suppliers had exciting leading-edge technology to offer and CAF looks forward to working with these providers of innovative products on future projects throughout the UK. CAF truly believes that if it is successful then its suppliers will also reap the rewards to themselves and also the wider local economy.”