Craig Whittaker, the Member of Parliament for the Calder Valley, has welcomed the opportunity for the Calder Valley Constituency to become the new home of Great British Railways now the competition has opened –and has pledged to back their bid to be the new HQ.
As part of the Conservative Government’s commitment to level-up the country, the new Great British Railways HQ will be based outside of London and bring a number of high-skilled jobs to the winning location.
Local economies will be further boosted by a number of regional headquarters based across the country, putting decision making and investment at the heart of the communities who use those railways day-to-day.
The creation of Great British Railways was announced as a major pillar of the once in a generation reform launched by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps in the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail. Great British Railways will be a single guiding mind that ends the fragmentation of the rail industry and drive benefits and improvements across the network.
Locations across the country with strong, historical links to the railway are encouraged to make the case for why they should be the new home of Great British Rail. The GBR Transition Team will shortlist the best applications in May, after which a public vote will help determine the winning location.Bids to house the new HQ will be measured against six criteria:
- Alignment to Levelling Up objectives
- Connected and easy to get to
- Opportunities for Great British Railways
- Railway heritage and links to the network
- Value for money
- Public support
Local authorities, MPs and business groups are beingencouraged to drive forward campaigns for why their community should be the #DestinationGBR by visiting www.gbrtt.co.uk/hq.
This announcement follows the publication of the Levelling Up White Paper, which sets out the Conservative Government’s plan to transform the UK by spreading opportunity and prosperity, with improving transport a core driver of this mission. It includes twelve bold national levelling up missions, which will be given status in law, and shift Government focus and resources to Britain’s forgotten communities throughout the 2020s.
Craig Whittaker MP said:
“Calder Valley's strong, historical links to our nation’s railways make it an ideal location for the new Great British Railways headquarters –and I will be backing our bid all the way.
“This HQ would bring new highly skilled jobs to the area, level up and create opportunities for residents, and cement Calder Valley's status as the true home of British rail.
“I urge local residents, leaders, and business groups to get behind our bid –and prove to the country why Calder Valley should be the home of Great British Railways.”
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Our railways have kept this country moving for almost two hundred years but it’s time to kickstart a new age that will shape our network for the next two hundred.
“I’m calling on people across the country to make the case for why the true home of the railways is on your doorstep."