York St John University backs York’s bid to headquarter Great British Railways
Published: 14 July 2022
York St John University shows its support for the City’s #Yes2York campaign to be the home of the new Great British Railways (GBR) headquarters.
Following strong applications from 42 local authorities across Britain in the competition to find a location for the headquarters of Great British Railways, York has been named as one of six locations shortlisted.
The competition, announced by the Secretary of State for Transport in October 2021, aims to identify a place with a rich railway heritage, strong links to the national network and significant public support, while creating a great opportunity to promote the location as the proud home for the start of a new era in Britain’s railways.
The successful application made by City of York Council focused on how York would be the natural city for GBR HQ, located within an hour of 1 in 10 of the most deprived communities in the UK and already the nation’s capital of rail outside of London.
The City boasts a strong heritage of railway infrastructure with an existing workforce well accustomed to running and developing railways, meaning GBR would hit the ground running. York also provides significant Levelling Up opportunities, for both the local economy and across Yorkshire and the North East. The regeneration of former railway land at ‘York Central’, the ideal location for GBR HQ, is adjacent to York’s iconic railway station.
Responding to the news of the shortlisting, Councillor Aspden, Leader of City of York Council, said:
“Our city’s strengths are obvious, we have the perfect site in York Central, situated in the centre of the city and located next to York Rail Station, which in turn is at the heart of the largest rail cluster outside of London and the South-East. To locate GBR here will not only mean investment in York, but also the Yorkshire and Humber economy, representing a real opportunity to deliver levelling up, with 320 of the most deprived communities in the UK within an hour’s train journey of the city. With our rich rail heritage and growing rail sector and skills based in the city, York is the obvious choice.”
Professor Karen Bryan OBE, Vice Chancellor of York St John University, added:
“We are delighted to support York’s bid as the new home for the GBR HQ in recognition of the opportunities it offers for our community and beyond. As a university we are committed to the government’s Levelling Up agenda and playing our part in reducing regional inequalities.”
Alongside York, the other shortlisted locations are Birmingham, Crewe, Derby, Doncaster and Newcastle. Government Ministers and GBR Transition Team representatives will visit each of the shortlisted towns and cities to gain a greater understanding of prospective locations’ intentions for the headquarters and to engage local communities ahead of a public vote. Voting will take place between 5 July and 15 August 2022, with the final decision on the winning location being made later in 2022.