The Department for Transport has announced the shortlisted six towns and cities that could potentially function as the host location for the new Great British Railways headquarters. 42 locations across the UK had applied to become the host city/town, having now been narrowed down to the final few, which are:
There is an open voting forum here which allows the public to have their say on who should get the privilege to host the headquarters. There is a plethora of benefits available to the winning city/town as it will create jobs and opportunities to boost their economic status. Whilst the public vote will play a part in the decision-making process for the headquarters location, the final decision will come from Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.
The successful candidate will be graded against six key criteria, which are:
- Alignment to levelling up objectives,
- Connections and availability,
- Opportunities available to GBR,
- Railway heritage,
- Links to the network,
- Value for money and public support
GBR will issue passenger service contracts to private companies to run trains.
Mr Shapps said:
“Our world-leading railways have served this country well for 200 years and this is a huge step in the reforms, which will shape our network for the next 200.
“Great British Railways will create a truly sustainable, modern, and fair railway network for passengers and freight customers.
“I’m calling on people across the country to play a key part in this once-in-a-generation reform and vote for the new home of our railways."
The “central headquarters” will provide strategic direction for the running of GBR and bring “highly skilled jobs to the area,” DfT said, with “regional headquarters across the country.”
Leader of the GBR transition team, Andrew Haines, added:
"Since the competition was launched it has been great to see the interest from towns and cities across Britain who believe GBR's home should be with them.
"I am really looking forward to the next step and seeing which town or city has the honour of being the home for GBR. Good luck to the final six."
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