Crewe officially misses out to Derby in becoming new Great British Railways HQ
By Ryan Parker
21st Mar 2023 | Local News
Crewe has officially missed out to Derby in becoming the new Great British Railways headquarters - following an announcement by the UK government.
Derby was named as the new headquarters of Great British Railways (GBR HQ), at around 10:30am on Tuesday 21 March.
The new public body in Derby will effectively be in charge of every railway across England and Scotland.
Last July, Crewe was shortlisted in the final six potential GBR locations - alongside Birmingham, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Doncaster, York and Derby.
The winning location was expected to be announced after the closing of the public vote in August 2022 - but was delayed until March 2023.
On Tuesday, transport secretary, Mark Harper said: "It's full steam ahead for the reform of our railways.
"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."
Derby came top of all six 'excellent locations' according to the government in both the rigorous assessment process and the public vote.
The government said Derby's application demonstrated strong links to the wider network, well-established connections with the industry, supply chain and customers - as well as an extensive local cluster of private sector rail businesses.
Other towns and cities across Britain may potential benefit from the Derby GBR HQ - potentially including Crewe and the other shortlisted GBR locations.
GBR's Transition Team will now work with Derby to identify the site for the HQ within the city.
Crewe and Nantwich MP, Dr Kieran Kieran, was left 'disappointed' Crewe had not been chosen as the new GBR HQ.
The MP told Nub News: "I am so disappointed that Crewe has not been chosen.
"I can honestly say there are few places in the country that are more closely linked with the railway than Crewe and bringing the headquarters here would have continued that proud tradition.
"I don't begrudge Derby their win and I am glad to see another agency being put outside of London.
"We can build on the opportunities HS2 will bring, including Alstom building the bogies for the trains at the Crewe Works site, and things like our £22.9m Town Deal to forge the best possible future for Crewe regardless.
"I remain positive about Crewe's future."
Leader of Cheshire East Council, Cllr Sam Corcoran, was also disappointed Crewe lost out to Derby.
He said: "Naturally, we are very disappointed that Crewe has not been chosen to be the new home of Great British Railways - especially after such strong public backing for the town's bid.
"We had no doubt that Crewe was the right choice, and Great British Railways would have hugely benefited the town and the wider sub region.
"Crewe is a rail town through and through and is at the heart of the rail network.
"It has a strong rail heritage and is one of the most connected interchanges in the country, connecting the nation and serving as a gateway for the North.
"While this is not the decision we had hoped for, we do take great pride in the strength of Crewe's bid and the efforts of the public and all our partners, stakeholders and businesses who got behind it.
"We would like to thank each and every person that voted for Crewe for their support – the passion that people have locally for rail and the town of Crewe was absolutely evident throughout this competition, and this is something we will continue to harness.
"We would also like to pass on our congratulations to Derby, and all others who were in the running."
Chief executive of South Cheshire Chamber of Commerce, Paul Colman, added: "Many people will be gutted by this news.
"Crewe's connectivity, rail heritage and historic role in the growth of the rail industry made it the strongest contender for GBR.
"Sadly Crewe has missed out to Derby despite a sound bid backed by our business community. However Crewe will bounce back.
"We are hearing great news on growth from major employers like Bentley and the town regeneration is creating positive vibes.
"We must look forward to a bright future and maximise the opportunities HS2 will bring.
Crewe Nub News has contacted Cheshire East Council regarding its handling of Crewe's potential GBR HQ.
READ MORE: Popular Crewe shop closed after windows attacked by person with hammer.
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