Crewe was the only town on the shortlist alongside five cities. Credit: via Social

Crewe misses out to Derby in bid for GBR HQ 

The decision to overlook the Cheshire town as the home of Great British Railways was described by one local leader as “a missed opportunity” to drive levelling up in the North. 

Crewe, which is in line to benefit from the arrival of HS2, was among a six-strong shortlist vying to be selected as the location for the headquarters of the government’s reformed railway body. 

Derby was chosen as the winner, while other shortlisted locations Birmingham, Doncaster, Newcastle, and York missed out along with Crewe. 

“We have punched well above our weight in this competition,” said Cllr Craig Browne, deputy leader of Cheshire East Council and chair of its highways and transport committee. 

“We made it to the final six from 42 places shortlisted and were the only town to make the shortlist.” 

GBR will replace Network Rail as operator of the nation’s rail infrastructure, and also take over the DfT’s contracting of train operations and timetabling. 

The government launched the bidding war for the new GBR HQ in October 2021. 

York was the early bookmakers’ favourite to be picked. Yesterday, the city council’s Lib Dem leader Keith Aspden slammed the government following the announcement, describing the contest as a “shambles”. 

“From delays to reversals of plans, this is just the latest showing from this shambolic government,” he said. 

Like York, which is home to the National Railway Museum, Crewe has a rich railway history.  

“Crewe is a town which is synonymous with the railways, not least because of its highly skilled workforce, thriving rail industry and strategic transport links,” Browne said. 

“We believe that the decision [to overlook Crewe] is a missed opportunity to deliver the government’s Levelling Up agenda in the North of England.” 

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Last time I checked Crewe was about 10 miles further north up the UK than Derby?

By Levelling Up Manager

Absolute shambles, Crewe was literally founded and developed by the Railway. The football team is called the railway men for that reason! What a real shame, as this could have seriously helped the region after the sad news that HS2 to the Town is being even further delayed. Delayed, to it’s never going to happen.

By Anonymous

@ Levelling Up Manager
Once GBR are fully established in Derby they’ll be well placed to move the whole city 10.1 miles up the Midland Mainline, making itfurther north than Crewe.

By the light of the moon

I cannot visulise what Derby has that
the Crewe team haven’t had after so
much effort presenting Crewe as the
Obvious candidate for the GB hub.

By Terry Lockett

Realistically it was going to be between Crewe and Derby as they have the most red wall marginals nearby. Derby probably has more of these so unsurprisingly won

By Levelling Up Manager

But Derby is the biggest cluster of Rail companies in Europe, the largest Rail factory in the UK and has a rail heritage second to none in the UK.

By Filpot

Shows the failure so called “Regeneration” and the result from the interplay to fail, and HS2 will bring jobs. Look at Crewe’s retail. The only thing the Council can offer is a cinema, and car park. I note the Council has a few offices in Crewe, they’ll be able to use the car park. Crewe isn’t likely to become an award-winning regeneration town but is a world leader in making exceptional poor places for people to live and commute to work, and delivering poorer futures. Disagree pop a long to Crewe. Savills the real estate services company pointed a few things out recently. Oh well role on the next PR gimmick from the Council, politicians.


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