Local organisations get behind Swindon’s GBR bid

Major organisations in Swindon have backed the town’s bid to become the new headquarters of Great British Railways (GBR).

Published: Wednesday, 4th May 2022

GBR HQ bid image

Sixteen organisations in and around Swindon have signed an open letter to the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, to demonstrate their full support for the town becoming the home for the new public body responsible for running Britain’s railways.

Educational establishments joined major employers such as Zurich and Nationwide and others in writing to Mr Shapps to outline why they think Swindon would be the ideal location for the GBR HQ.

“You will already know that Swindon is one of England’s most important historic railway towns,” the letter said. “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.

"But, while we are immensely proud of our railway heritage, Swindon’s bid is about looking forward not back. Swindon will support GBR by establishing a national centre of excellence for the railway sector, building on the wealth of rail organisations and businesses already thriving here.”

The letter went on to say: “With its superb connectivity, we believe Swindon is the ideal place for Great British Railways to forge the future of our railways, which is why we are all backing the bid.”

A total of 42 towns and cities submitted bids to host the GBR. A shortlist of locations will be announced this month and a vote will take place to help determine the successful location.

All bids will be measured against six key criteria, including considering how GBR will align with levelling up objectives, its location, opportunities for GBR and public support.

Local people can still pledge their own support for the bid by completing a short survey: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/8M0QF2

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