A NEW Government-funded Eurostar depot was formally opened in Leyton today.

The ribbon at the Eurostar Engineering Centre Temple Mills was cut by Tom Harris MP, Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for Transport.

The depot, in Orient Way, will serve High Speed 1, the extension linking Eurostar's new terminal at St Pancras Station with the existing Eurostar line in Kent.

It replaces North Pole International in White City, where Eurostar trains have been maintained for the past 13 years.

The facility is more than 400 metres long, and can house eight of Eurostar's 27-strong fleet of trains simultaneously.

It was paid for in full with £400million of Government money.

Mr Harris said: "With its state-of-the-art facilities for the maintenance of Eurostar trains, the depot at Temple Mills is the final piece of infrastructure needed to keep the high speed train fleet running smoothly."

Work at Temple Mills will begin on November 13, the day before Eurostar services move from the existing Waterloo terminal to St Pancras.

High Speed 1 includes the new Stratford International station, for which an opening date is yet to be decided.