Major backing for Swindon's Great British Railways HQ bid

By Barrie Hudson - 3 May 2022

  • Steam is among the signatories of the open letter to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps

    Steam is among the signatories of the open letter to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps

Nationwide and Zurich are among the signatories of an open letter backing Swindon's bid to be home of the new national organisation Great British Railways.

Sent to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, the letter is also signed by other organisations including Swindon Borough Council, Steam, Swindon Chamber of Commerce, Voluntary Action Swindon and New College.

Last month, Swindon submitted its bid in the national competition to find the new home of the Great British Railways, which will be in charge of railway infrastructure.

One of the key judging criteria is demonstrating public support, so Swindon needs as many local organisations, businesses and individuals as possible to show their support.

The open letter says, in part: "We strongly urge you and your team to consider the standout merits of Swindon's bid to host the new national headquarters of Great British Railways.

"You will already know that Swindon is one of England's most important historic railway towns. 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 adds: "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 shortlist of locations will be announced in May, when a vote will help determine the successful location. 

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