Grant Shapps – 2022 Statement on the Headquarters of Great British Railways

The statement made by Grant Shapps, the Secretary of State for Transport, in the House of Commons on 5 July 2022.

Today, 5 July 2022,1 am announcing the shortlist of the most suitable potential locations for the national headquarters of Great British Railways (GBR), which will go forward to a consultative public vote to be held online and by post.

The confirmed list of shortlisted towns and cities is:

Birmingham

Crewe

Derby

Doncaster

Newcastle upon Tyne

York

I announced on 4 October 2021 that a competition would be run to identify the headquarters for GBR, to be located outside of London. This was launched on 5 February 2022 and was overseen by the GBR Transition Team (GBRTT). Prospective local authorities were asked to submit a short Expression of Interest to GBRTT by Wednesday 16 March.

GBRTT received 42 applications and has analysed their suitability against the published set of criteria for the national headquarters. The selection criteria are:

Alignment to Levelling Up principles

Connected and easy to get to

Opportunities for GBR

Value for money

Railway heritage and links to the network

Public support

GBRTT will launch a public vote today that will give the public the opportunity to express their views. The vote is consultative and will be used to test public support for each shortlisted location, allowing the people that the railway serves the chance to have their say.

Ministers will then make a final decision on the headquarters’ location based on all information gathered and against the above criteria, with a final decision expected later in the year.

The new national GBR headquarters will be supported by a number of new regional headquarters across the country, putting decision-making and investment at the heart of communities that use those railways day to day.

The Government are committed to levelling up, delivering jobs and investment beyond the capital. The national headquarters will be at the heart of the rail network and provide strategic direction for the running of GBR. Based outside London, it will bring a number of high-skilled jobs to the winning location.