Derby city centre on a sunny day

Great British Railways announce winners of competition to host new rail headquarters

Derby City Council has announced that it has been successful in the competition to decide where the new home of Great British Railways will be situated.

Great British Railways is to become the new public body that is responsible for the running of the nation’s railways. The driving force behind this is to ensure that ambitious changes and developments are made to improve the railways and create a ‘better, simpler railway for everyone in Britain.’

The process saw 42 towns and cities across the UK express their interest in being the home of GBR, with those being whittled down to just six finalists: Birmingham, Crewe, Doncaster, Newcastle, York and, of course, Derby. In order to decide the winning bid, the cities were scrutinised for their suitability to match six published criteria. The criteria saw applicants have to score in:

  • Levelling Up
  • Connectivity
  • Opportunities for GBR
  • Value for money
  • Heritage
  • Support

Following this, there was a public voting period of six-weeks that saw Derby attract 45,600 votes out of a total of 205,000 people.

Leader of Derby City Council, Councillor Chris Poulter, said:

“We’re absolutely thrilled that Derby has been selected to become the new home off Great British Railways. This result is a testament to the hard work of our team, alongside our key rail and city partners based across Derby – we couldn’t have done it without them.

“Rail heritage is at the heart of our city and for this to be recognised by Government is a fantastic achievement. The investment we’ll see form this significant move will be huge, not only for Derby but for levelling up across the whole of the wider East Midlands.

“Not only do we have Europe’s largest rail cluster centred right here in Derby, but we also have a rich history of being the only city in the UK to have manufactured rolling stock continuously since 1840. I’m thrilled that Derby’s heritage is being recognised in this defining way.

“Thank you again to everyone who took the time to back Derby’s bid, it was brilliant to have support form 22 MPs and all 40 local authorities from across the East Midlands.

“We can’t wait to see what this momentous move will mean for Derby and its citizens in the future.”

This decision will help to bring crucial benefits to the city, with key jobs and a strategic government operation now moving into a place that previously had one off the lowest concentrations of civil service jobs in country.

Support for the Derby bid saw it being represented by Midlands Connect, East Midlands Councils, East Midlands Chamber, Marketing Derby and the D2N2 LEP, as well as backing from 22 MPs and all of the local authorities across the East Midlands, representing over three million people. This consists of 40 Las, including Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Nottingham, Leicester and Leicestershire.

Mark Harper, Transport Secretary, said:

“It’s full steam ahead for the reform of our railways and today’s announcement is not only a huge win for the brilliant city of Derby, but a key milestone for the entire rail industry across the country.

“Great British Railways will put the passenger first, promoting collaboration and innovation across a joined-up efficient and modern network.”


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