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City backs GBR bid and says #Yes2York

11/07/2022 News
City backs GBR bid and says #Yes2York

Following the Government's announcement that York is one of six locations shortlisted to be the home of the Great British Railways (GBR) HQ, leaders are asking the public to show their support.

Local businesses and organisations across the city have called for the public to get behind York's GBR bid, following the news that York has successfully been shortlisted to be the new home of the headquarters for GBR.

City leaders are asking everyone to back York's bid by voting for York to be home to the GBR HQ.

The results of the vote will be used to measure the level of support for each place and will be considered as part of the government’s final decision making.

See more information on York’s Great British Railways bid, or read more abount York: A great British home for Great British Railways on the York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership website.

To show their support, residents, visitors and businesses are encouraged to use the hashtags:


Cllr Keith Aspden, Leader of City of York Council, said:

"Our city’s strengths are obvious, we have the perfect site in York Central, situated in the centre of the city and located next to York Rail Station, but also unrivalled rail heritage and growing rail and skills sector in the city.

"To locate GBR here will not only mean investment in York, but also the Yorkshire and Humber economy, representing a real opportunity to deliver levelling up, with 320 of the most deprived communities in the UK within an hour’s train journey of the city. We know York is the obvious choice. We now need the public to throw their support behind our bid and vote to bring rail back home to York.”


Professor Charlie Jeffery, Vice-Chancellor of the University of York, said:

"We are delighted to see that York has been shortlisted as the future new home for the GBR HQ. We firmly believe that York is the right place for GBR. The Levelling Up White Paper makes it clear that every region needs a strong and resilient city to drive levelling up.

"This means that locating GBR HQ in York is great news not just for York, but also the wider regional economy - supporting the burgeoning cluster of rail tech industries across the region and opening up opportunities for some of the UK’s most disadvantaged communities.

“The University’s research expertise in robotics, autonomous systems and AI means that we can provide all the latest developments in railway technologies. Alongside our city partners, we can play a vital part in providing the highly-qualified workforce GBR will require to achieve its ambition.”

Rachael Maskell, MP for York Central, said:

"I am absolutely delighted by today’s shortlist announcement, which is brilliant news for York and North Yorkshire. York made the railways, and the railways made York. We have over 150 years of rail heritage in our city and a site ready for rail’s future.

“Locating the HQ here, will not only cause our railway industry to thrive but turn it into a global rail super cluster. It will also open up new high skilled jobs and opportunities for North Yorkshire’s young workforce, and help not just level up the region, but enable the rest of the country to level up due to the focus a York-based Headquarters will bring.

“The final push starts today. Working together this summer we can bring Great British Headquarters home. Everyone can play their part, please start by voting #Yes2York”

Judith McNicol, Director, National Railway Museum, said:

"Today’s news is a huge endorsement of York’s continuing relevance as the heartbeat of the modern rail industry in the UK, as well as the home of railway heritage. Making the shortlist is a big achievement, but we now need to come together, to get out and vote and make an overwhelming case for York to be the home of GBR."

Lee Probert, Chief Executive and Principal of York College, said:

"I’m thrilled that York is on the shortlist for GBR HQ. This is a real opportunity to deepen our historic connection with the rail industry and to leverage the rich track record we have in designing and delivering rail education and skills, in support of future innovation in this great industry.”

Professor Karen Bryan, Vice Chancellor of York St John University, said:

"We are delighted to support York’s bid as the new home for the GBR HQ in recognition of the opportunities it offers for our community and beyond.”

Julian Sturdy, MP for York Outer, said:

"I am delighted to see that York has made the shortlist of 6 towns and cities in the competition to host the new GBR HQ. This is itself a massive vote of confidence not only in York’s railway heritage but also in our importance to the national railway industry and to the levelling up agenda in the North.

"I firmly believe that the great British public will rally round York as the best choice to host this new national institution and encourage everyone in the local area and beyond to support York’s bid and take part in the online vote”

Carolyn Frank, Development Manager FSB York and North Yorkshire, said:

"I am not at all surprised to see York shortlisted, it is the natural choice for GBR HQ, well connected, with superb rail heritage and a skilled workforce, as well as the rail industry embedded into the city vision and economic strategy. We will be encouraging our local members to vote for York to help to secure the investment into the city."

Adam Wardale, Chair of Hospitality Association York (HAY) and General Manager at Middletons Hotel, said:

"HAY have been proud to support the bid for York to become the new home to the GBR HQ ever since the application was submitted. York has such a rich railway history and strong links to the rail network that we believe York is the perfect place for the GBR HQ.

"The impact on the local economy as well as the impact to local opportunities and the effect on the hospitality industry would be enormous. We are encouraging all of our members to support the bid and vote #Yes2York."

Laurence Beardmore, Chamber President of the York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, said:

"We’re proud to support the campaign to bring GBR HQ to York. The bid undoubtedly wields great potential for the city. We encourage businesses across West and North Yorkshire to get involved and vote for York, recognising the significant impact hosting the successor to Network Rail can have on their area. With the city’s history and current strong relationship to the rail sector, dating back nearly two centuries, coupled with the highly skilled and specialised workforce in the area, York would be the perfect place for GBR to call home.

“The campaign is also a great opportunity for York to be recognised for its rich and impactful rail heritage. Alongside a strong cultural argument, the city offers a robust proposal, with the infrastructure and talent pool already in place to support the move. The Chamber encourages the public, and ultimately the Department for Transport, to consider the potential for York to be held as a shining example of the Levelling Up agenda in action.

“While the city is very successful, especially in relation to tourism and heritage, we still need new initiatives that drive forward growth and prosperity, especially in light of the latest challenges in the economy. Bringing GBR HQ to York will see the government’s Levelling Up agenda being implemented and enables the city to play its full part in helping to reduce regional inequalities."

Helen Simpson OBE, Chair of York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said:

"York’s shortlisting for the GBR HQ is great news.The York Central site can become a world leading rail cluster, driving growth and new opportunities, not just in York, but across the whole of the North. We now hope that the public cast their votes for York.

“The York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership has worked collaboratively with the City of York, with industry and business partners in setting out the proposition. The proposal which helped secure a place on the shortlist for York is a true private and public sector submission and builds on the Enterprise Zone status and existing investment into the York Central site.”

Tim Whitaker, CEO and Principal Askham Bryan College, said:

"Our college community is fully supportive of York’s bid to become GBR HQ. There is such potential mutual benefit for GBR, as a significant land owner, to work with us and our land based students and apprentices.

"Together we can create opportunities, develop a highly-skilled workforce, and deliver on many shared environmental sustainability goals.”

Andrew Morrison, Chief Executive Officer of York Civic Trust, said:

For nearly 170 years York has been the headquarters of some of the nation's most important railway companies.

"The city has long been the home to the National Railway Museum. Only York can offer a location that is built on such significant heritage uniquely coupled with a drive to move forward through some of the country's most innovative railway technology companies."


From a press release originally published by City of York Council

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