As part of the Government’s Levelling Up Agenda, Great British Rail (GBR) decided to base their headquarters outside of London. This is in an attempt to spread investment and skilled jobs to communities across the nation, rather than the London centric investment previously seen. Furthermore, local economies will also see a further boost by the creation of a number of new regional headquarters across the country.

Expressions of interest were submitted from cities and towns throughout Britain, with applications being evaluated against the following criteria:

  • alignment to levelling up objectives
  • connected and easy to get to
  • opportunities for GBR
  • railway heritage and links to the network
  • value for money
  • public support

In total, 42 cities and towns applied from which the Government have whittled down the applicants to the following 6 successful cities:

  • Birmingham
  • Crewe
  • Derby
  • Doncaster
  • Newcastle-upon-Tyne
  • York

A public vote has now been put to the nation to aid the Secretary of State with their final decision. This will be supported by visits to the shortlisted towns and cities by Government Ministers and the GBR Transition Team (GBRTT). This will allow them to gain a greater understanding of prospective locations’ plans for the headquarters and to engage with local communities ahead of the public vote.

The Secretary of State will then make a public announcement regarding the successful applicant and the selected location for the GBR headquarters in late 2022. The final decision will be based on all elements of the process including:

  • GBRTT’s assessment of the applicants’ EOIs against the selection criteria 
  • The understanding gained from the visits (as is relevant to the selection criteria) 
  • The result of the public vote 
  • Other public duties (such as managing public money) 

To find out more about each shortlisted location’s bid click here

To vote for the new location for the GBR headquarters click here