Vote for Derby to become the new home of Great British Railways

Published: 5 July 2022

Aerial shot of Derby with Derby GBR logo and the word

Derby is one of six cities to be shortlisted to become the new HQ of Great British Railways

Derby has taken a step closer in its bid to becoming the new home of Great British Railways (GBR).

The city is one of 6 to be shortlisted from 42 expressions of interest from towns and cities across the nation keen to be the HQ location for the new organisation created to deliver a simpler, better railway for everyone in Britain. The other shortlisted cities are Birmingham, Crewe, Doncaster, Newcastle and York.

Great British Railways will be the new public body responsible for running Britain’s railways. It aims to deliver the most ambitious changes to our railways in a generation, working with the Government, across the rail sector and beyond.

In October last year, the Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps announced a competition to find a location for the GBR headquarters outside of London.

Historical ties with railways and good train connectivity to other places were among the criteria used to decide the shortlist. As the centre of Europe’s largest rail cluster, Derby is a front runner in the competition.

There will now be ministerial visits to all the locations on the shortlist followed by a non-binding but influential public vote to measure the level of public support for each location. The public vote closes on 15 August, 2022. The result will be considered as part of final decision making and the winner will be announced later this year.

Councillor Chris Poulter, Leader of Derby City Council, said: 

We're absolutely delighted that Derby has been shortlisted to become the new home of Great British railways. This shortlisting is a testament to the hard work of our team, alongside our key rail partners based across the city - we couldn't have done it without them.

As well as having a long 180-year plus rail history, what sets us apart is we remain home to a thriving rail ecosystem – Europe’s largest rail cluster. 

I'm thrilled that Derby's rail credentials are being recognised by the Government.

GBR will integrate the railways across the country, owning the infrastructure, collecting fare revenue, running and planning the network, and setting most fares and timetables.

Derby’s bid already has the support of councils across the East Midlands including Derby, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Nottingham, Leicester and Leicestershire, representing over three million people from across the region.

Dozens of businesses from within the rail sector and beyond are also backing Derby’s bid to be the home of Great British Railways. East Midlands Airport, East Midlands Railways, Sperry Europe, Costain, Deutsche Bahn ESG, Toyota, Loram, Serco, Derby College Group, Resonate, Train FX, Alstom and the University of Derby are just a few of the East Midlands organisations that have endorsed Derby’s bid.

Will Rogers, Managing Director, East Midlands Railway, said:

We are proud to support Derby's bid to become the new home of Great British Railways and welcome their inclusion in the national shortlist. Derby is our home, an historic centre of railway excellence and well located in the heart of the Midlands, providing excellent transport links to towns and cities across the country. We look forward to the public vote, formal visit and the opportunity to showcase why Derby would make an excellent home for Great British Railways. 

Kate Martin is Deputy Principal at Derby College Group (DCG) whose estate includes the iconic Roundhouse in Pride Park - part of the former loco works. She said:

The shortlist announcement is great news for Derby. As the city's FE college with strong employer and curriculum links to the rail industry, we are fully behind Derby's bid to bring the headquarters of Great British Railways to the city.  This will create high quality jobs for many, including our alumni, and act as a catalyst to further inward investment.

Richard Kelly, Managing Director at Loram, said:

Loram is delighted to back Derby’s bid for the new headquarters of Great British Railways. Our US parent company made a conscious decision to base Loram UK in Derby, which is at the heart of the railway. With unrivalled access to a dynamic and diverse supply chain, as well as a highly skilled talent pool, it makes perfect sense to base GBR in this City.

Justin Stroud, Managing Director, Europe at Sperry Rail said:

Derby is the location of Sperry’s European Headquarters because of its connectivity. After 20+ years of conducting very successful business from Derby, I would personally say GBR would be mad not to use the centre of the United Kingdom as the location to grow the Great British Railway.

Professor Kathryn Mitchell CBE DL, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Derby, said:

It is fantastic news that Derby has made the shortlist and we are delighted that the University of Derby is a partner in this important bid. Through our Rail Research and Innovation Centre we support collaborative research and innovation projects, helping to modernise the railway through digital and low carbon solutions. We are also ideally placed to provide the key skills needed to support the anchor employers and supply chain, as well as business support dedicated to the rail and transport sector that will enable growth and create more jobs in the region.

Michael Hulme, Site Engineering Director at Alstom said:

As the UK’s leading designer, builder and maintainer of trains, we’re proud to call Derby home. The city has been building trains for Britain and the world since 1839 and continues to do so today.  We’re delighted to support the city’s bid.

Councillor Chris Poulter continued: 

This is a fantastic boost for Derby, and we urge all residents, businesses and stakeholders from across the whole of the East Midlands to take the time to back the bid and vote for Derby.

Derby’s strong rail heritage and deep-rooted culture of future rail innovation make it the ideal central location for the new headquarters.

Derby is home to major players in the automotive and aviation industry including Rolls-Royce and Toyota making it uniquely placed for GBR to benefit from cross sector collaboration and a highly skilled workforce.


You can vote for Derby online

Visit the Destination Derby website and sign up to the campaign 

Find out more about the National HQ Competition for GBR

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