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Doncaster For #DestinationGBR

Great British Railways (GBR) is a new public entity that has been created to oversee rail transportation across the entire country. Among other things, this national body will be responsible for setting train fares, coordinating timetables, contracting passenger services, and collecting revenue. 

As part of the government’s commitment to levelling up the rest of the UK, it has decided that GBR’s headquarters must be based somewhere outside of London. To decide upon the ideal location for this, a competitive bidding process was opened earlier in 2022, allowing UK towns and cities to campaign for why they should be chosen. 

By the time submissions closed, a total of 42 expressions of interest were made. This has since been whittled down to just six possible candidates, with Doncaster being one of them. The other finalists in the running are Derby, Birmingham, Crewe, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and York.

Why Doncaster Should Be Made GBR HQ

Being chosen as the home for GBR would have a range of economic and reputational benefits for Doncaster. It would create a number of skilled jobs in the region, drive further inward investment, increase the footfall in our city centre, and ultimately demonstrate that we are a place with great ambition.

We believe that Doncaster has a really good chance of winning its bid, as we meet all of the criteria laid out by the government. Situated on the East Coast Mainline and less than 90 minutes away from London, we are very well connected to the rest of the country.

We also have a longstanding history with trains - having built iconic locomotives like The Flying Scotsman and The Mallard – we have strong connections with major industry players to this day (like Hird Rail and Unipart), and we are training the next generation of engineers via specialist education providers like NCATI and Doncaster UTC.

Finally, Doncaster is a place that has really come a long way in the past few years, as evidenced by the fact that we were recently granted City Status. We have good quality housing, a thriving education system, and a fantastic leisure sector that boasts national attractions in the form of Doncaster Racecourse and the Yorkshire Wildlife Park. With that said, we have a lot to offer Great British Railways workers should they need to relocate here in the future.

How You Can Support the Bid

Now that Doncaster has made the cut for the GBR HQ shortlist, we need to do everything in our power to make ourselves stand out from the competition.

One of the things that the government will be considering is the amount of public support for the bid. On that note, residents can lend their voice to the campaign by generally raising awareness, writing to their MPs, using the hashtag #DestionationGBR on social media and, most importantly, voting for Doncaster in the new public ballot. Even the smallest of contributions here will make a big difference in getting our bid over the line.

To help you support the bid, Doncaster Chamber has also produced a comprehensive toolkit, with template letters, social media resources and guidance on how to lobby.

Coming Up in Doncaster's Future

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