Derby has been chosen as the city to be the future headquarters of Great British Railways (GBR).

The Rt Hon Mark Harper MP

Today (21 March 2023) I am pleased to provide an update on this government’s plans to reform our railways. I am announcing the location chosen to be the national headquarters of Great British Railways (GBR), providing further detail on GBR’s regionalised approach including how GBR will benefit the whole of Great Britain, as well as offering more detail on the role of GBR.

From a shortlist of 6 locations announced last summer, Derby has been chosen as the city to be the future headquarters of GBR.

Among an exceptional list of shortlisted applicants, Derby scored highest in the expression of interest stage of the competition, which analysed its suitability against 6 published criteria:

  • levelling up
  • connectivity
  • opportunities for GBR
  • value for money
  • heritage
  • public support

It also scored highest in the 6-week public vote, attracting 45,600 votes, more than 5,000 ahead of the second placed location in a total vote of 205,000.

Derby will become the heart of Great Britain’s rail industry, bringing together track and train, as well as revenue and cost. This means we will finally treat the railway as the whole system it should be rather than a web of disparate interests that it’s become. Passengers will no longer face the excuse-making and blame-shifting of years past. Instead, GBR will be wholeheartedly customer-focussed, serving as the single point of accountability for the performance of the railway. The rail campus, led by GBR HQ, will help position the industry to achieve this.

GBR will put customers at the heart of its reforms. It will reinvigorate the role of the private sector to help drive innovation with an unrelenting focus on quality, customer service and experience. Under GBR, rail journeys, buying tickets and ticket prices will be easier, simpler and fairer.

Whilst GBR’s headquarters will be in Derby, other towns and cities will also benefit from hosting empowered regional GBR hubs equipped with decision making and investment powers aimed at benefiting their local communities. GBR will support jobs spanning across Great Britain including the North, South East, South West and London. The GBR HQ will share learning, partnerships, connections and opportunities across these centres of excellence.

GBR’s Transition Team will now work with Derby to identify the site for the HQ within the city, which will represent value for money for the taxpayer. The Midlands is already a transport supercluster for Britain: with DfT and HS2 based in Birmingham, bringing GBR HQ to Derby represents a further boost to the region’s transport sector and demonstrates our commitment to levelling up the country.

Derby named as home of Great British Railways HQ news story, 21 March 2023.

Published 21 March 2023