Support from all political walks of life for the offer of a new railway headquarters | New
An ambitious bid to bring Britain’s railways home to York has been heralded as a ‘watershed moment’ for the region’s economy after winning backing from across the political spectrum.
York is one of six shortlisted locations across the country that have been chosen by the government as potential locations for the headquarters of Great British Railways (GBR).
The new organization has been unveiled by the government and will be responsible for streamlining the operation of the country’s railways, and York’s bid to become its new national base has received all-party backing from the county council’s political groups.
If successful, the decision to establish GBR’s new York headquarters would help unlock major economic benefits and employment opportunities in North Yorkshire and the North of England.
A collective demonstration of support was given outside County Hall in Northallerton, with councilors from the County Council Conservatives, Liberal Democrat and Liberal Group, Independents, Labor and Greens all gathering to back the candidacy of York.
Chief Cllr Carl Les said: ‘York’s bid is ambitious and shows the intent both in the city and across North Yorkshire to bring real economic benefits and the prospect of hundreds of new jobs, and could prove to be a watershed moment for the region.
“York has a long and proud railway heritage dating back to the Victorian era, and it would be appropriate for the city to be at the forefront of attempts to reform the national rail network in the 21st century.
“All political groups in the County Council have come together to give a collective voice to our support for the bid to bring the new Great British Railways headquarters to the city, as it will be a huge benefit not just for York, but for the entire region as well.
“The fact that York has been shortlisted of just six locations to be GBR’s new headquarters shows the strength and ambition of the bid, and we all hope it will be a success and that the new headquarters will be brought into the city.”
The research showed that the creation of the new GBR headquarters would be a key part of the government’s drive to tackle regional inequalities as part of its so-called leveling programme.
Analysis showed the new headquarters would add around £110m to York’s economy, creating 1,600 new jobs with 320 of these roles in the 700 most deprived communities within an hour’s train ride of the city.
York is already one of the largest rail hubs in the country, with 5,000 employees linked to industry and major rail operators based in the city.
The city is also home to the National Railway Museum (NRM) and the York Central project, which is one of the largest brownfield sites in the country, is centered around the city’s railway station.
Leaders of political groups on the county council have expressed their hopes that the bid to bring GBR headquarters to York will become a reality.
County Council Opposition Leader Cllr Bryn Griffiths, who is leader of the Liberal Democrat and Liberal Party, said the town’s long association with the railways provided a strong case for the bid to succeed .
He added that setting up the base in the city would contribute to NRM’s ambition to become a “global engineering powerhouse” through a six-year vision to develop the attraction.
Labor leader Cllr Steve Shaw Wright claimed he was ‘fully committed’ to the campaign to bring GBR headquarters to York.
He said: “York is the historic seat of the railways, it is the seat of the National Railway Museum, and it would be illogical to have the GBR’s seat anywhere other than York.
“The economic benefit that will be created by the decision to locate the head office in York will be a major economic boost not just for the city, but for a wider region. I urge everyone to support the bid and contribute to the economic prosperity of the region.
The head of the North Yorkshire Independents Group, Cllr Stuart Parsons, said: “It is vital that York is chosen. It will create new jobs in the city and beyond, as well as huge investment, which will benefit both York and North Yorkshire.
“It will also give a strong impetus to the success of a decentralization agreement, proposals for which have been announced with the government.”
Green Group Co-ordinator at County Council, Cllr Andy Brown, added: “York is the ideal location for the National Railway Headquarters.
“He has a proud tradition in the industry, an excellent skills base and brilliant connections with direct lines to Penzance, Edinburgh, Birmingham and London.”
York City Council Leader Cllr Keith Aspden stressed that moving GBR’s head office to the city would open up opportunities across the region.
He said: “With 700 of the UK’s most deprived communities within an hour of York, the jobs created by locating Great British Railways to York could have a hugely positive impact on the upgrading agenda. .
“Our rail heritage, our region-wide expertise and skills, and our strength in innovation make York the obvious birthplace of rail.
“I would like to thank North Yorkshire County Council for supporting our bid. We have been overwhelmed with the support we are getting so far from local businesses, universities, colleges and organizations across the region.
The creation of GBR was announced as a major basis for the unique reforms of the national rail network launched by the Ministry of Transport just over a year ago.
The new organization will be responsible for ending the fragmentation of the country’s rail industry and providing a much more coordinated approach across the entire network for passengers and freight customers.
The headquarters will be the heart of the rail network and will provide the strategic direction for the operation of GBR, as well as the creation of highly skilled jobs in the area around the thriving location.
As part of the government’s commitment to improving the UK economy, the new headquarters will be based outside of London and will bring highly skilled jobs to the winning location.
Local economies will be further boosted by a number of new regional headquarters across the country, putting decision-making and investment at the heart of communities that use the railways.
The shortlist of potential locations for the GBR headquarters was announced earlier this month by the government and was established after a total of 42 bids from cities and towns across the country were submitted.
Other locations on the shortlist include Birmingham, Crewe, Derby, Doncaster and Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
A public vote will play a crucial role in determining the location chosen and officially inaugurated at the beginning of the month. Members of the public can choose the city or town they think makes the best case for this prestigious online honorwith the final decision taken by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps later this year.