Members of the pubic have less than a week left to vote for Birmingham as the new national headquarters for Great British Railways (GBR). Public voting to help choose the town or city that will be crowned the home of Britain’s railways officially ends on Monday 15th August, with a final decision being made by the Government later in the year.
To support Birmingham’s bid, the #DESTINATIONGBR #VOTEBRUM campaign, led by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), was launched in July. It aims to show Birmingham as the natural choice for GBR due to its location at the heart of the country’s rail network including home to HS2’s head office. With a young and diverse population, the move would also support the Government’s aim to see opportunities in every corner of the country, help attract further investment and create high-skilled jobs.
GBR is the new body set up by Government to oversee the nation’s rail transport, with both responsibility for infrastructure, replacing Network Rail, and contracting rail services, setting and collecting fares and organising timetables. But as well as a compelling case on paper the Government are also looking for strong local support and proof that GBR will find a warm welcome here – which is why people are being asked to show their support.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, and chair of the WMCA, said: "This is your last chance to support our bid to make Birmingham the heart of the nation's rail network by bringing the GBR headquarters to our wonderful city.
“The West Midlands is already at the forefront of innovation and alongside flagship projects like HS2 and Very Light Rail, the GBR headquarters would be a natural fit for Birmingham and would bring further investment and growth to our region. We’ve just shown what a formidable job we can do moving over 1.5 million spectators around the region for the Commonwealth Games – with a rail at the heart of our transport services. We can continue to deliver for the nation’s network if we are made the home of Great British Railways.
“A vote for Birmingham would also be a vote for jobs, civic pride and economic opportunity for the city. I strongly encourage local residents to make their voice heard and bring the future of the railways to our city.”
Councillor Ian Ward, WMCA portfolio holder for transport and leader of Birmingham City Council said: "Birmingham is the ideal home for Great British Railways and, as one of Europe’s youngest and most diverse cities, with a deep pool of talent, we are uniquely placed to help create a railway that’s both inclusive and fit for the future. Major investors and organisations are increasingly choosing to relocate in Birmingham and the wider West Midlands, because this region is well-connected, has quality office space and offers a great quality of life.
“This move would also be great for our city, bringing jobs, supporting local businesses and pulling in even more investment, which is why I strongly encourage people to get behind the Birmingham bid and show your support.” To vote for Birmingham follow this link: www.wmca.org.uk/gbr