Doncaster bids to be new home of the Great British Railways

Last year the Secretary of State for Transport shared the announcement that an exciting new competition will be held to find a location for the new Great British Rail (GBR) headquarters, outside of London.

The home of GBR’s HQ presents a wealth of opportunity. Not only does it have the potential to generate new opportunities across the elected region, but it will also become a key hub for the wider industry, and a foundation for new ideas and innovation to flourish.

A significant 42 towns and cities have so far responded to the call and will be evaluated against six criteria to create a shortlist, due to be released later this month. These include:

  • Alignment to ‘levelling up’ objectives
  • Connected and easy to get to
  • Opportunities for GBR
  • Railway heritage and links to the network
  • Value for money
  • Public support

Earlier this month, Martin Gleadow, Solution Architect at 3Squared, attended a Mayoral Breakfast organised by South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority, The University of Sheffield, and the Chamber of Commerce for each of Sheffield, Barnsley, and Doncaster, to promote the city’s bid to become the new home of GBR’s HQ.

The breakfast featured a panel, comprising: Lindsey Gladsby, Senior Vice Principal for Careers, Employer Engagement, and Recruitment at Doncaster University Technical College; Lucy Prior MBE, Business Growth Director at Trough-Tec Systems Ltd and Chair of the Railway Industry Association’s SME Group; Steve Foxley, CEO at the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre; and Oliver Coppard as mayor of the region.

The panel shared their insights into Doncaster’s bid to become the new home for GBR, highlighting how Doncaster measures up against the criteria and how the bid is a bid for all South Yorkshire, with the potential benefits serving the entire region.

Insights were provided by Steve on the research and innovation work being done across the region, a theme heavily emphasised in the Williams-Shapps report which conceived GBR, before Lucy shared insights into the wider rail supply chain and just how many companies there are with rail expertise and connections in South Yorkshire. The panel session concluded with Oliver sharing his ambitions for South Yorkshire and how success for Doncaster in this competition will help to promote the area and show future generations the possibilities which will be open to them.

Martin commented on what the appointment of Doncaster would mean for the local community: “Doncaster has a strong rail pedigree and a great location. Should it be successful in the bid to become the Home of Great British Railways it will be a great boost to both the city and the whole of South Yorkshire, showcasing to the country what we can do, while attracting investment and creating opportunities and jobs for the region.”

We look forward to seeing where Great British Rail’s new home will be and seeing the transformation it will bring to our sector. For more information on how 3Squared supports the UK rail industry through its award-winning technologies, visit our product page here.