Derby – the home of Great British Railways 

On Tuesday 21 March 2023, the Secretary of State for Transport, Mark Harper MP announced Derby will be the home of the Great British Railways headquarters. 

The establishment of Great British Railways (GBR) will transform the way in which the sector works, bringing together track and train – through a network of regional railway centres – to deliver a simpler, better railway for everyone. 

Derby is already home to Europe’s largest rail cluster – providing thousands of skilled jobs and benefiting from well established rail links to towns and cities across the country. 

The Great British Railways HQ will be the anchor of a new rail campus across the city, building on this existing centre of railway excellence. Staff at the HQ will support the wider industry in driving innovation and new thinking, including teams focused on research and development, and tackling nationwide issues like net-zero and expanding the role of rail freight.  

To ensure rail reform delivers for customers across Britain, decision making will not be confined to the HQ. Empowered GBR regions across England, plus Wales and Scotland, will be equipped with the authority to make decisions and prioritise investment opportunities, alongside a strong and clear voice for local leaders and communities. 

We are now working with Derby City Council and property agents to find the precise location that will host the Great British Railways Headquarters.   

If you have any questions about the property search or the HQ competition, please contact us using the button below.

How we got here

About the HQ competition

In October 2021, a competition was announced to find a location, outside of London, for the headquarters of Great British Railways.  The selection process consisted of four stages. 

Stage 1 : Expressions of Interest

The Expressions of Interest process took place between 5 February and 16 March 2022.

Local authorities and other bodies across the country were invited to express their interest in hosting Great British Railways, demonstrating how their location aligned to our selection criteria: 

  • Being connected and easy to get to
  • Representing good value for money
  • Alignment to levelling up principles
  • Providing opportunities for GBR
  • Having a rich railway heritage and being connected to the network
  • Public support

Stage 2: Shortlisting 

The shortlist of six locations was announced on 5 July 2022

The team at GBRTT assessed the Expressions of Interest to shortlist the towns and cities that most effectively demonstrated the selection criteria. This process went through multiple stages of assurance and utilised expertise across GBRTT.

Stage 3: Ministerial visits and public vote

The visits and public vote took place between 5 July to 15 August 2022.

Government Ministers and GBRTT representatives visited each of the shortlisted towns and cities to gain a greater understanding of prospective locations’ intentions for the headquarters and to engage local communities ahead of a public vote. 

At the same time, GBRTT hosted a non-binding online vote, giving the public the opportunity to vote for their preferred location from the shortlist.  

Stage 4: Decision

The decision on the winning location was announced on 21 March 2023.

Derby scored highest at the Expressions of Interest stage and also attracted the most public votes. The result of the public vote is listed below:   

  • Derby – 45,614 (22.22% of the vote) 
  • Doncaster – 40,080 (19.53% of the vote) 
  • Crewe – 34,416 (16.77% of the vote) 
  • Birmingham – 29,781 (14.51% of the vote) 
  • York – 28,234 (13.75% of the vote) 
  • Newcastle – 27,149 (13.23% of the vote)

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