York to bid to be the new home for Britain’s railways as competition begins

The Department for Transport has kick-started the competition to find the new home of Great British Rail, with York set to be one of the favourites. Council Leader Keith Aspden is urging residents and businesses to support York’s bid to bring high skilled jobs and investment to the city.


The best applications from cities and towns across the country are set to be shortlisted in May, after which a public vote will help determine the winning location.


Since the news of the creation of the new rail body were announced back in May 2021, Councillor Aspden has been calling for the new headquarters to be based at the heart of the northern rail industry, on the York Central site, alongside a future Civil Service Hub. 


Earlier in October key city partners, including rail, business, education, Police and heath leaders, sent a joint letter backing York’s bid. In making the case for York, they urged the Government to recognise the potential that this move would have to establish York as the heart of the country’s rail industry and more crucially, to truly level-up the wider region.


This move has support from MPs in York and North Yorkshire and the York and North Yorkshire LEP, alongside many local businesses and countless residents.  



Councillor Keith Aspden, Liberal Democrat Leader of the City of York Council, commented:


“Ever since the announcement of GBR plans, we have continued to make the case for York to be chosen as the home of the Government’s flagship rail body. Our existing connections, historical links, sector jobs and highly skilled workforce, would make the city a perfect fit for GBR.


“This move would also see a concrete commitment from the Government to their levelling up ambitions, bringing jobs and investment to York and the North.


“We will now prepare a comprehensive bid to outline the countless reasons for choosing York. We will work with city’s and region’s representatives and key partners to ensure that residents have the chance to vote for York later in May.


“York is already at the heart of the rail industry in the North, so this move would give us the opportunity to truly cement our place as the national home for Rail. I would urge residents and businesses to support the campaign and help us bring GBR to York.”

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