A fleet of electric trains are set for refurbishment in Ilford, creating more than 20 new jobs in the area.

Global smart and sustainable mobility company Alstom has signed an £8.8 million contract with operator c2c.

This involves the repair and repainting of its Class 357 Electrostar fleet of 74 four-car units, originally manufactured by Alstom between 1999 and 2002.

The project will include the repair of various types of corrosion and repainting of all units, undertaken at Alstom’s Ilford depot over a two-year period.

The Ilford depot offers heavy maintenance and modernisation work, employing around 120 people.

This new contract will add an extra 25 roles at the Ilford site, according to Alstom.

UK suppliers, including small and medium-sized enterprises, will supply materials for the project in line with Alstom’s ethical and sustainability requirements.

Ilford Recorder: The project will create 25 jobs at the Ilford depotThe project will create 25 jobs at the Ilford depot (Image: Alstom)

Water-based paint solutions will be used, reinforcing safety standards for workers, passengers, and the environment.

Peter Broadley, service managing director for UK and Ireland at Alstom, said: "We're thrilled to embark on this new journey with c2c, rejuvenating the Class 357 fleet and enhancing the travel experience for fare-paying passengers.

"This contract underscores Alstom’s commitment to sustainable mobility and British craftsmanship, exemplified by our dedicated team at the Ilford depot."

He added: "Through this contract, we not only renew the vitality of the Class 357 fleet but also fortify local economies by fostering job creation at our Ilford depot and engaging the wider UK supply chain, including SMEs."

Alstom's Ilford depot, which opened in 1949, functions as a hub for modernisation, refurbishment, vehicle painting, re-branding, and overhaul services.

The depot also provides off-site labour deployment services and includes four main workshops, a logistics centre, and paint facilities.

Rob Mullen, managing director at c2c, said: "The forthcoming paint and refurbishment work – carried out by our partners at Alstom – will see all of our 74 Class 357 trains refreshed with the distinctive look and feel of our new Class 720 trains.

"We are excited at the prospect of this work starting and can’t wait to get the refreshed trains back out on our route."