Latest News | 12 July 2022

Bondholders urged to back Derby in GBR vote

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Marketing Derby is calling on its Bondholder community to back Derby’s bid to be the new home of Great British Railways, by taking part in a public vote.

Last week, it was announced that the city was one of six locations across the country shortlisted to be the headquarters of GBR. Derby’s bid, which was submitted by Derby City Council, is up against Birmingham, Crewe, Doncaster, Newcastle and York.

A public vote has now opened to gauge the level of support for each location.
After the vote closes on 15 August, the result will be used by the Department for Transport to help it decide where GBR should be based.

There will also be ministerial visits to all of the shortlisted locations.

John Forkin, managing director of Marketing Derby, said: “We were delighted to see that Derby had been shortlisted to become the headquarters of GBR.

“We already know that the city hosts the largest railway cluster in the UK – if not the largest in the world – and, therefore, we believe we have an incredibly strong business case for an initiative meant to better join up the sector.

“We will supplement this with a proactive community support campaign over the coming weeks and look forward to hosting the Minister soon.”

The team behind Derby’s bid believes the city has a strong case.

The city, which has more than 180 years of rail history, is based at the heart of the UK rail network.

And it is already home to Europe’s largest and most diverse cluster of rail companies, employing more than 11,000 workers covering every aspect of railway building, maintenance and operation.

GBR is a new public body that will integrate all aspects of the rail network with an aim to make UK railways more efficient.

GBR’s headquarters will be sited outside of London as part of the Government’s plan to move 22,000 civil service jobs out of the capital by the end of the decade.

Derby currently has the lowest proportion of Government jobs for a city of its size in the UK.

It is hoped that becoming the home of GBR would directly help level up the area by diversifying and strengthening the local economy.

Since launching its bid, Derby’s campaign has attracted widespread support from some of the rail industry’s major players, as well as business and political leaders, not just in Derby, but across the East Midlands.

It is argued that landing GBR would not only provide an economic boost for Derby, but for the region – a view shared by Scott Knowles, chief executive of East Midlands Chamber.

He said: “Derby and the rail industry go hand-in-hand, so it feels like the natural location for a national centre of our railways.

“Its 200-year legacy as the centre of UK rail remains highly relevant today as the home of the country’s largest train factory, where operator Alstom will soon build the next generation of high-speed trains in a joint venture with Hitachi Rail, alongside the many small businesses that make up the supply chain.

“Creating the Great British Railways headquarters in Derby would build on this expertise, further develop the skillsets from its industrial heritage and shine a spotlight on the city’s economic strengths.

“When combined with other exciting regional projects such as the East Midlands Freeport, this could help attract new investment from companies that may wish to be located near a national centre and create jobs for these skills to thrive – all relevant to the Government’s levelling up agenda.

“The East Midlands is fast becoming a centre of trade – a hub for making, moving and innovating – and winning this bid would further cement this position.”

To cast your vote click here.

For more information about Derby’s bid – and how you can get behind it – visit the Destination Derby website – click here.

To watch a video showcasing Derby’s bid click here.

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