The Leader of the Liberal Democrats came to York today (Sunday) and said he was backing the city’s bid to become the new home of the HQ for Great British Railways which will soon run the rail services.
A number of towns and cities want GBR to come to them. This includes Eastleigh in Hampshire, a town just north of the port of Southampton. Eastleigh, just like York. has a long history of train building and also, just like York, has a Lib Dem dominated council.
Sir Ed Davey says he would be happy to tell York’s rivals that our city is the place to have GBR.
“I’ve said it has to be York, the GBR headquarters should be here.
“You also have the strongest case, not only as we’re here now in the National Railway Museum, but 10% of the jobs of UK rail was at the moment are based here in York.
“So yes, we are strongly backing York’s bid.”
WATCH: The interview with Sir Ed Davey on this link.
YorkMix asked him if he would be saying the same thing on a visit to Eastleigh?
“Well, the people of Eastleigh have got a proud railway history too. But I think they’ll acknowledge that we need levelling up in our country to happen, and that it’s right that we should bring investment and jobs to the north of our country in areas that have been forgotten in the past.
“So it really is in the national interest that GBR HQ is here in York, but it’s also right to make sure we spread economic prosperity across our country too.”
York’s bid to have GBR move to the new York Central site is set to be formally submitted on the 16th March.
The York Central development, for which the Council and key partners have secured a £155m funding package, includes 2500 new homes; up to 1.2 million square feet of commercial development, with around 6500 new jobs expected to be created overall leading to a £1.2bn boost to the local economy.
The shortlisted towns and cities will enter a public competition later in May, with a public vote to decide the location of the new HQ.
The known contenders
and of course, York