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Grantham misses out as six towns and cities shortlisted to be home of Great British Railways



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A bid for Grantham to host a new national railway headquarters has failed.

Six English towns and cities have been shortlisted to host the headquarters of Great British Railways (GBR).

The Department for Transport (DfT) announced that Birmingham, Crewe, Derby, Doncaster, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and York are all in the running.

The train station at York, which is among the six places in the running to be named GBR’s HQ (PA) (57761548)
The train station at York, which is among the six places in the running to be named GBR’s HQ (PA) (57761548)

GBR will be a new public sector body which will oversee Britain’s railways.

The bid for Grantham to host the new headquarters was confirmed by Lincolnshire County Council in March, due to the town's "long railway heritage history" and "strong location".

An online public vote on the six shortlisted locations for its headquarters has now been opened.

Grantham has missed out on being named on the shortlist of places to host Great British Railways headquarters.
Grantham has missed out on being named on the shortlist of places to host Great British Railways headquarters.

Councillor Colin Davie, executive councillor for economy and place at LCC, said: “We knew this would be a very competitive process, with so many places having strong submissions as we did.

"Of course it’s disappointing that Grantham has not made the shortlist, but together with South Kesteven District Council, we have big ambitions for the town’s growth and development.

"Grantham has a very bright and successful future ahead of it, and we are ready to take other opportunities like this when they arise.”

The outcome will “play a crucial role” but the final decision will be made by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps later this year, according to the DfT.

The creation of GBR was included in the Queen’s Speech in May.

It is hoped the organisation will simplify the rail network and improve services for passengers by absorbing the state-owned infrastructure management company Network Rail and taking on many functions from the DfT.

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”, the DfT said.

There will also be “regional headquarters across the country”.

The online vote is available here.

Applications were measured against six key criteria, which were: alignment to levelling up objectives, connected and easy to get to, opportunities for GBR, railway heritage and links to the network, value for money and public support.



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