Towns and cities across England, Wales and Scotland are being invited to apply to become the new home of Great British Railways (GBR).
The competition to fine the new home of GBR is now open with the new headquarters set to be based outside of London.
This will bring numerous high-skilled jobs to the winning location and forms part of the government’s commitment to level-up the UK.
A number of new regional headquarters across the country will further boost local economies.
GBR’s creation was announced as a major part of the rail reforms launched in the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail.
Upon its inception GBR will become a single guiding mind ending fragmentation in the rail industry.
It is hoped this will drive benefits and improvements throughout the rail network for both passengers and freight customers.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps spoke on the competition to find the new headquarters of GBR.
Mr Shapps said: “Our railways have kept this country moving for almost 200 years.
“It’s time to kickstart a new age that will shape our network for the next 200.
“I’m calling on people across the country to make the case for why the true home of the railways is on your doorstep.”
The best applications will be shortlisted in May by the GBR transition team after which a public vote will be held to help determine the winning location.
Applications will be measured against the following criteria:
- Railway heritage and links to the network
- Value for money
- Public support
- Opportunities for GBR
- Connected and easy to get to
- Alignment to levelling up objectives
The new central headquarters will be at the heart of the country’s rail network and will provide strategic direction for the running of GBR.
Andrew Haines, Leader of the GBR transition team commented on the opportunities the GBR headquarters could create for the winning town or city.
Mr Haines said: “This is the chance for cities and towns… to be a key part of an exciting chapter in the history of Britain’s railway.”
This follows the publications of the Levelling Up white paper which sets out the government’s plans to spread opportunity and prosperity across the UK.
Business groups, MPs and local authorities are being encouraged to drive forward campaigns for why their community should house the new headquarters.