Latest News | 9 March 2022

Bondholders urged to get behind city’s rail HQ bid

Share this post:

Marketing Derby Bondholders are being urged to get behind the city’s bid to become the new home of Great British Railways.

Back in September, city leaders announced they were putting Derby forward to be the new headquarters of GBR, a new public body that will integrate all aspects of the rail network with an aim to make UK railways more efficient.

Derby’s vision already has the backing of city leaders and politicians. It also has the support of major firms, including Derby train-maker Alstom.

Now, Marketing Derby is calling on its Bondholder community to add their support to the city’s bid.

The competition to find a new home for GBR was officially launched by the Department for Transport last month.

The deadline for expressions of interest is 16 March, with a shortlist of preferred locations expected to be announced in May.

This would then be followed by ministerial visits to the shortlisted locations and a public vote.

The winning location would then be announced sometime in the summer.

Councillor Chris Poulter, leader of Derby City Council, which is leading Derby’s bid, said: “Rail is in the blood of many generations of people in Derby, who are naturally proud of our rich and deep-rooted rail heritage.

“My own father spent the whole of his working life at the Derby Loco Works and the smell of engine oil still lingers strong in my memory.

“The home of the railways should also have an eye to the future, and this is where Derby can excel.

“It is a centre for rail excellence and innovation, with a strong supply chain to support a large, diverse rail cluster.

“We are the natural home for the first national headquarters of Great British Railways. Derby and all our partners in the East Midlands makes us the best placed region to meet GBR’s requirements and levelling up needs.”

The creation and locating of GBR is part of the Government’s overall strategy to move tens of thousands of civil service jobs out of London by the end of the decade.

It is believed that choosing Derby would not only bring decision-making to the city for the first time in decades but would maximise the full east-west Midlands Engine offer, while leveraging the city’s unique strengths in the rail industry.

John Forkin, managing director of Marketing Derby, said: “Derby is a can-do city that hosts one of the world’s largest rail clusters and I cannot think of a better home for the new Great British Railways.

“From a government perspective, it makes business sense and locating these jobs in the East Midlands would also contribute to the levelling up agenda.”

Attracting GBR to the city would not only bring new jobs to the city but would boost the regional economy and help support planned regeneration and future developments in Derby’s city centre.

Paul Simpson, the city council’s chief executive, said: “Derby has a near 200-hundred-year legacy as being the centre for the rail industry and geographically sits in heart of UK rail network.

“Rail is embedded in our culture and as a city we’re home to Europe’s largest and most diverse rail cluster.

“We have a highly skilled and talented workforce, as we’re home to leading innovating businesses, including Alstom, Rolls-Royce and Toyota.

“The move would offer a unique opportunity for the Government to collaborate with the rail industry, as well as supporting the levelling up agenda for the city.

“With backing from our people and our local authority partners across the East Midlands, we’re determined to prove that Derby is the right home for GBR.”

Derby City Council is now preparing to submit the city’s Expression of Interest, which is being backed by local authorities, MPs and businesses from across the East Midlands.

Will Tanner, communications director at Alstom UK and Ireland, said: “The business and national strategic case for locating Great British Railways in the city is very strong indeed and we are delighted that Derby is putting itself forward.

“Alstom is the UK’s leading train builder and maintainer and is proud to call Derby home. The city has been building trains for Britain and the world since 1839 and its still doing so today.”

Derby is already making preparations based on the expectation that the city will be among the shortlisted locations.

As part of the bid’s engagement in advance of the public vote, a new, dedicated website will be launched, explaining why Derby should be chosen.

The website will also list all of the businesses and organisations backing the bid.

Any organisation who has not yet joined those publicly supporting the bid should e-mail, attaching their company logo for use on the new website.

And later this month, on a date to be confirmed, a briefing session will take place to update all supporters on Derby’s bid, explain the next steps in the campaign and outline how you can help the bid team bring GBR to Derby.

In the meantime, supporters are being encouraged to use the hashtag #DerbyGBR on their social media.

Related Articles...

This will close in 0 seconds