Tell us why you think Nuneaton should be the home of Great British Railways (GBR)
Local people and businesses are being asked to get behind the bid to make Nuneaton the new home of the Great British Railways (GBR) HQ, by sharing why the town should be selected in an online book of support
Earlier this month, Nuneaton was among 42 towns and cities across the UK bidding to be the home of Great British Railways.
Due to come into being next year, GBR will be the body which oversees the rail network, absorbing Network Rail, and bringing together track and train with the aim of delivering a more customer-focused railway. This vital organisation’s remit will include owning rail infrastructure, receiving fare revenue, running and planning the network and setting most fares and timetables.
The shortlist of potential host towns is to be announced next month and, as part of the selection process, there will be a local public vote. In common with other bid locations, residents and supporters of the Nuneaton bid are invited to sign up to support the campaign, via the bid web page.
The town of Nuneaton has a long association with railways, with a mainline station as early as 1847. The railways were a key driver of the local coal industry, with an extensive network of lines across North Warwickshire. Nuneaton and Bedworth went on to become major centres of manufacturing and engineering for the nascent car industry and today in Warwickshire is a major centre of transport technology.
Warwickshire is home to a number of rolling stock and supply chain companies while Coventry is the home of Very Light Rail (VLR) technology. Nuneaton is ideally located at a central point on the rail network, with easy access to the rail industry’s operating, design and manufacturing eco-system across the Midlands and wider UK.
Nuneaton itself is the subject of the ambitious Transforming Nuneaton programme, a venture between the County Council, the Borough Council, the local enterprise partnership and the private sector. It aims to revitalise the town centre, creating an attractive and vibrant place with upmarket retail and business accommodation, town centre living, improved public space and high-quality leisure and entertainment facilities.
Councillor Izzi Seccombe, Leader of Warwickshire County Council said:
“Locating GBR’s HQ to Nuneaton would provide a huge boost to the Transforming Nuneaton Programme (TNP) which aims to create a vibrant, attractive and prosperous town centre. In return, this growing Midlands town will provide GBR with the perfect launching point to revolutionise and repurpose the country’s national railways. It is geographically ideally situated and is on the cusp of becoming a town that any business would be proud to be associated with. We urge as many people as possible to get online and share why they think Nuneaton should be chosen as the new home for GBR.”
Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council leader Cllr Kristofer Wilson said:
“This bid to be the new home of GBR is a statement that Nuneaton and Bedworth have high ambitions for our towns, and I would encourage all of our residents to sign up and support our bid. We are doing all we can to make Nuneaton and Bedworth a great place to live, work and visit. We are working hard as a borough council with our partners across Coventry and Warwickshire and beyond to attract new interest to our area, including new jobs, homes and inward investment. This is a great opportunity to achieve that.
“We believe the development potential of Nuneaton means the town has a strong case to be considered as the best location for this prestigious headquarters. Our transport connections with the rest of the country are excellent and our location would literally put GBR in the heart of the UK. The rewards this could bring to our town are huge, and I urge everyone to back the bid.”
Rt Hon Marcus Jones MP for Nuneaton, Arley and Hartshill, said:
“I am proud to represent Nuneaton which is a town with a proud history and a bright future, and I urge the Department of Transport to select Nuneaton as the new headquarters for Great British Railways.
“Our rich rail history, strong links to the network and the coming transformation of our town centre make Nuneaton the best option for new home of Great British Railways.
“As the most central town in England, Nuneaton is very well connected in terms of local, national and international transport links.
“I am very much supporting Nuneaton’s bid!”