Doncaster is calling on the business community and public to get behind its bid to become the home of the headquarters of Great British Railways.
A competition to provide the national home for the new organisation to run the railways, Great British Railways (GBR), has been announced and over 40 towns and cities across the country have submitted a bid for it.
The Government has said that the location must be outside of London to bring jobs and investment opportunities and support levelling up in another part of the country. Other criteria include that places bidding should have a rich railway history, are strongly linked to the network, have good connectivity, be able to offer value for money and be able to demonstrate public support.
Given Doncaster’s historic links with the railways dating back to the 1850s and, as the birthplace of the Mallard and Flying Scotsman, its central position on the East Coast Main Line and its air, rail and road links, the town considers that it is ideally placed to host the headquarters of GBR.
In addition, Doncaster is arguing that basing the HQ in the town will bring benefits throughout South Yorkshire and to neighbouring areas as it will further underline the strength of the rail industry cluster in the region. This will help to attract further investment and create more jobs directly and through the supply chain required to support the cluster. Through this, and by directly creating highly qualified and high wage jobs on its own, having the HQ will contribute to the levelling up of the region.
Ros Jones, Mayor of Doncaster, said: “We are up against stiff competition, but Doncaster more than meets all the criteria stipulated by the Government, but we need the whole of Doncaster and South Yorkshire to support us promote our town as the ideal place to locate Great British Rail. Winning this bid will bring huge benefits to the town and I appeal to the people of Doncaster and South Yorkshire to help us prove that it has support from businesses and the public.”
Dan Jarvis, Mayor of South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority, said: “The government has pledged to ‘Level Up’ our communities and having the GBR HQ in Doncaster would be a massive shot in the arm for our economy, which would bring much needed jobs and investment to Doncaster and the wider region. It would also further cement the region as a centre of rail excellence and a great place to invest in. I’m encouraging all our businesses and people across South Yorkshire to show their support for the bid.”
Dame Rosie Winterton MP said: “Doncaster people are very proud of their deep rooted rail history and would be prouder still to offer Great British Railways a home here. Doncaster is still home to over 50 rail companies and we hope to be able to continue this tradition by adding the GBR HQ to our thriving rail industry.”
Ed Miliband MP said: “GBR HQ would be right at home in Doncaster where sustainable transport is high on our agenda, offering people high quality public transport choices to help protect our environment. Doncaster’s location offers excellent connection across the country and locally which is why it attracts commuters from a wide area to work in the town and would enable the GBR HQ to be easily reached from all over.”
Nick Fletcher MP said: “Investment is big business in Doncaster and it already has a vibrant, growing economy which offers excellent value for money and a raft of opportunities. All the criteria points to Doncaster as the ideal location and the town would benefit greatly from the investment this would bring. I will be stating our case strongly in Westminster.”
The public are being urged to get involved by indicating why they think the HQ should be based in Doncaster through completing a short survey and submitting their comments.
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