News - 15 March 2022

Make Derby the home of Great British Railways

Derby is bidding to be the new home of Great British Railways (GBR).

Great British Railways will be the new single public body responsible for running and transforming Britain’s railways. The aim of GBR is to create a simpler, better railway for everyone in Britain.

Derby’s rich rail heritage and deep-rooted culture of innovation make it the ideal central location for GBR’s new headquarters.

Derby is the birthplace of the industrial revolution, the site of the world’s first factory, a leader of the English enlightenment, a city of innovation and industry. A place with a highly skilled and talented workforce, home to world-leading businesses Rolls-Royce, Alstom, Toyota and many others.

With a rich 200-year legacy as the centre of the rail industry in Britain, Derby is no train museum. It is at the forefront of the industry, employing thousands of workers, and at the heart of Europe’s largest and most diverse rail cluster. Providing an unparalleled opportunity for closer collaboration within the sector and beyond.

As the UK’s most central city, Derby is well connected by car, train or plane with over 6 million people living within one hour’s travel time. Located on the River Derwent Derby is the gateway to the beautiful Peak District National Park and part of the Derwent Valley Mills UNESCO World Heritage site.

From an ideal central location to a talented workforce Derby has a lot to offer GBR and the country. In return, GBR can level up Derby and the Midlands. Derby currently has a low proportion of strategic Government operations – becoming home to the GBR headquarters would directly help deliver on the Derby and Midlands Levelling Up agenda. It will diversify and strengthen the local economy.

Councillor Chris Poulter, Leader of Derby City Council who are leading the bid, said:

“Rail is in the blood of many generations of people in Derby, who are naturally proud of our rich and deep-rooted rail heritage. My own father spent the whole of his working life at the Derby Loco Works and the smell of engine oil still lingers strong in my memory.

“The home of the railways should also have an eye to the future and this is where Derby can excel. It is a centre for rail excellence and innovation, with a strong supply chain to support a large, diverse rail cluster.

“We are the natural home for the first national headquarters of Great British Railways. Derby and all our partners in the East Midlands makes us the best placed region to meet GBR’s requirements and levelling up needs.”

Councillor Barry Lewis, Leader of Derbyshire County Council said:

“We fully support the bid to bring the national headquarters of Great British Railways to Derby and believe it is the ideal location, not only because of its historic associations with the railway and the vital role it plays in the rail industry today but also its geographical position in the national rail network and proximity to the M1.

“The city and county are home to Europe’s largest cluster of rail engineering companies and it is the only place in the UK where you can design, test and manufacture a train all on the same site.

“There are around 11,000 people working in the rail sector in the area boasting a diverse pool of expertise including cutting edge research in conjunction with the University of Derby on rail de-carbonisation and composite design.

“As part of the levelling up agenda this would be a major boost for the East Midlands region and a real opportunity.

Councillor Ben Bradley MP, Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council and Member of Parliament for Mansfield said:

“Derby is the obvious place to be the home of GBR, with its historic rail connections and proud heritage of manufacturing and engineering, including Alstom building trains that drive both the UK and also much of the rest of the world. I back this bid, my Council does in Notts too. The whole region is backing Derby.

“With four new HS2 stations, including Derby, and billions of new rail investment coming to our region, the new hub of Great British Railways must be in the East Mids. It fits perfectly with our plans to boost investment and infrastructure by working together across the region, and with new powers related to rail set to be handed down to our area from Government. GBR should come to Derby.

Get involved

To support the campaign, visit the Destination Derby website to sign up to the campaign and to see the toolkit, for photos, logos and social media graphics. Or share messages through the @derbycc Twitter page throughout the campaign, along with Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Please help to share these messages using hashtag #derbygbr and the national campaign hashtag #destinationgbr.

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