York has lost the race to be home to the new Great British Railways HQ, according to national news reports.
According to the Guardian, Derby is expected to be named the new headquarters of Britain’s rail network by ministers this week.
The Midlands city was one of six places shortlisted for the role last June, which also included Birmingham, Crewe, Doncaster and Newcastle as well as York.
An online public vote on the six shortlisted locations was part of the selection process. The public vote only ‘informed’ the outcome, rather than decided it however.
Last July, the then rail minister Wendy Morton visited York and said: “I’ve really been struck by what I’ve been shown, the opportunities that are here. And that sense that York’s got a proud history, but York is also looking to the future.”
An announcement on the GBR headquarters was due in October, but then delayed, a decision decried by York leaders as “shambolic”.
If Derby is confirmed as the HQ, it will be a blow to York and outgoing council leader Keith Aspden, who fronted the campaign to bring it here.
According to the Guardian the economic gains might be limited, however.
“The new strategic body’s HQ will house a limited number of direct top-level railway jobs, but will be a big symbolic boost to the winner,” the paper reported.