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More than 100 Businesses back Crewe’s bid to be home of Great British Railways

7/27/2022 12:00:00 AM

GBR bid has received backing from a range of sectors

Bentley, Avanti West Coast, Freightliner and producer of Mornflake Oats – Morning Foods amongst signatories of letter to Secretary of State

More than 100 businesses have penned an open letter to the Transport Secretary, the Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP, backing Crewe’s bid to be the home of the Great British Railways (GBR) Headquarters.

The letter, sent by Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership on behalf of the region’s business community, has received backing from a range of sectors – outlining just how widely the benefits of the GBR bid would be felt.

Amongst the businesses to who have signed are Bentley, Avanti, Freightliner and Morning Foods.

Great British Railways is the new national rail operator, which will operate from 2023. Crewe is one of six towns and cities shortlisted to become the home of this important new public body, which will have responsibility for all aspects of Britain’s railways, including infrastructure, timetables and fares.

The letter outlines Crewe’s credentials and its ‘compelling case’ to be the home of Great British Railways, which meets every one of the criteria against which the Government will assess the final six bids. The town’s proud rail heritage makes it  synonymous with the railways and it offers a unique opportunity to deliver on Government levelling up ambitions by creating jobs and sparking regeneration. Meanwhile, Crewe’s connectivity, strong rail industry and skills base will give GBR the best chance of success, and the bid enjoys popular support from the town and wider North West region, underlined by the overwhelming support from the business community.

Clare Hayward, Chair of Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Businesses across the region are fully behind Crewe’s bid to be the home of Great British Railways HQ.

“When we are chosen as the home of GBR HQ, our businesses will collaborate to ensure that it is a huge success and consequently the positive impact will be felt widely. Crewe is the heart of rail, rail matters to Crewe, rail matters to its community, rail is in its heritage and in its future.

“There is a pride across the region built on its past, present and its future. Crewe has the rail knowledge and skills to continue to deliver for the rail industry.  This pride is felt across the wider regional business community, this pride means you care and when you care you perform and we know we can make the GBR HQ a success, impacting every sector including leisure and hospitality, construction and engineering.

“There would be a heartfelt welcome for the GBRHQ team because Crewe is at the heart of rail. There is so much to gain from this opportunity for everyone.”

Blake Jones, Freightliner’s Managing Director of UK Rail Services, said: “People in Crewe are so passionate about rail and this extends to the business community. We all want to ensure that GBR is a success both for Crewe and for the wider country.

“While GBR has so much to offer to Crewe, our businesses have so much to offer GBR. This expertise will be absolutely vital to ensuring GBR is a success. This letter is our way of saying that we want GBR to come to Crewe and if it does, we will all be ready to help make it that success.”

The public vote on where the GBR Headquarters should be located is open until August 15 and you can vote by going to www.gbr.co.uk/vote