The Business Exchange Swindon & Wiltshire Edition 61: June/July 2022 - Page 4

BUSINESS NEWS

Swindon ' s bid to become home of Great British Railways

People and organisations from across Swindon and Wiltshire are rallying together to get behind the town ’ s bid to become the location for the headquarters of Great British Railways ( GBR ), the new body responsible for running Britain ’ s railways .
Britain ’ s railways are embarking on a major , once in a generation reform that will transform the way in which the sector works , bringing together track and train to deliver a customer-focused railway .
In February 2022 , the Government launched a national competition to find a location outside London for the national headquarters of Great British Railways .
Swindon submitted a bid in March 2022 , supported by over 25 businesses and organisations across the town . In addition to this , an open letter was submitted to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps , which was supported by more organisations , including Nationwide and Zurich .
Swindon Borough Council launched a social media campaign and a short survey to show the enthusiasm local people have for Swindon ' s bid , with over 2,000 responses . All bids will be measured against the following criteria :
• The location must be aligned to the Government ’ s levelling up objectives
• The location must be connected and easy to get to
• The location must provide opportunities for GBR
• The location must have railway heritage and links to the network
• The location must be value for money
• The location must have public support
Swindon is one of England ' s most important historic railway towns . In the 1840s a greenfield site near the market town was transformed by the Great Western Railway ( GWR ). At its height , the GWR works in Swindon was one of the largest railway engineering complexes in the world .
Other cities and towns competing to be the home of Great British Railways include , Crewe , Derby , Doncaster and York . The headquarters ' location is set to be announced in summer 2022 .
Share your support for Swindon on social media using the hashtag # DestinationGBR and tag @ SwindonCouncil on Twitter or @ SwindonBoroughCouncil on Facebook so that they can reshare .
Councillor David Renard , Leader of the Council , said ...
“ The railways are part of Swindon ’ s DNA and I believe there is no better place for the new Great British Railways to have its headquarters .”
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