New Great British Railways HQ

Support Doncaster's Bid for Headquarters of Great British Railways.

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New Great British Railways HQ

Doncaster is the perfect location for GBR HQ

Cast Your Vote Now (Closes 15th August)

Doncaster is bidding to be the home of the headquarters of Great British Railways. Given its rail heritage, its central point on the network, its rail industry skills base and the contribution this would bring to levelling up the area.

What is Great British Railways Headquarters (GBR HQ)?

Central to its plans for restructuring how Britain’s railways are managed, the Government is setting up a new body called Great British Railways which will bring together the operation of the network infrastructure and train services. Ministers have invited bids to host the headquarters of this new organisation.

Why is Doncaster so perfect for GBR HQ?

  • A Rich Rail Heritage
  • An Established Rail Cluster
  • Enviable Connectivity
  • A Huge Levelling Up Opportunity
  • A Business Led Focus

Doncaster’s Rail Heritage and Rail Cluster

  • Doncaster has a deep-rooted rail heritage dating back to 1853 with the opening of the Doncaster Locomotive Works. World famous locomotives such as the ‘Flying Scotsman’ and ‘Mallard’ were amongst hundreds built in the city.
  • The tradition continues with Doncaster being home to over 50 rail companies employing over 8,000 people. Throughout South Yorkshire there are over two hundred rail and engineering companies including rail operations, power supply and distribution, traction, rolling stock and advanced manufacturing. This gives South Yorkshire an unrivalled skilled workforce and world-class training facilities and amounts to the Region forming a major rail industry cluster.
  • Having the UK Rail Research and Innovation Centre at Unipart Rail in Doncaster, and Digirail within it, is tangible evidence of the innovation, drive and ambition for the industry within Doncaster.
  • In addition, Doncaster boasts a world class rail college campus. The National College for Advanced Transport and Infrastructure is producing a highly skilled new generation of professionals to lead the UK’s future rail, transport and infrastructure workforce.
  • Having the GBR HQ will further cement the town’s international recognition as a rail cluster and demonstrate that it has the confidence of government as a centre of rail excellence. This will help to attract further investment from rail industry companies which will assist the area in levelling up.

Doncaster’s Connectivity

  • Doncaster occupies a prime position at the heart of the rail network in terms of daily commute times (York 20 mins, Leeds 30 mins, Sheffield 22 mins) providing the opportunity to expand the recruitment base for the new HQ and work with other rail hubs.
  • Doncaster also has great rail connectivity to the whole of Great Britain including London in 90 mins, Edinburgh in 180 mins Cardiff in 240 mins and Manchester in 80 mins
  • It already has a wide labour market catchment area with around 1.6 million people living within 30 miles and thousands commute into the town.
  • Doncaster has one of the best transport and logistics hubs in England, an international airport that is expanding rapidly, direct access to motorways and two rail freight terminals including iPort, the UK’s biggest intermodal rail freight facility.

Doncaster’s Levelling Up Opportunity

  • Its northern and post-industrial area makes Doncaster a prime spot to become a linchpin for Government plans on levelling up. The town features in the top 5 areas of those needing levelling up.
  • The region has a higher share of low-skilled jobs and a lower share of managerial and professional jobs compared to the national average. The HQ would represent a significant growth in the number of high skilled and high wage employment opportunities available in the area.
  • The town has well established education and skills pathways and assets for rail engineering and supply chain skills with engineering included at one of the Centres of Excellence under its University City. Doncaster is delivering Engineering T-Levels through Doncaster College and its new UTC, with pathways to rail-based degrees, apprenticeships and employment offering rail as an attractive career.
  • Although the number of people who will re-locate is unknown, the HQ may, over time, house up to 1,000 staff. That would mean up to 1,840 extra jobs in the town
  • The bid is a cohesive part of the City Region’s Strategic Economic Plan to grow the economy in a greener, fairer way through improved transport links and through growth in higher value and higher technology jobs.

Doncaster’s business led bid

  • A key feature of our bid is that it is a business-led partnership involving key industry players alongside the LEP, the Mayoral Combined Authority, Sheffield University and Doncaster Council. The bid is supported by world leading rail companies including Unipart Rail, Volker Rail, TTS Rail, DB Cargo UK and iPort Rail.


Cast Your Vote Now (Closes 15th August)

Last updated: 03 August 2022, 17:48