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Bid to make North Northamptonshire the new HQ for Great British Railways

Parking, roads and transport

11 March 2022

An aerial photo of Station Island at Stanton Cross in Wellingborough

North Northamptonshire Council is to submit a bid to Government to become the new national home of railways.

The authority wants the area to host the headquarters of Great British Railways (GBR) - a new public body in charge of the UK's train services.

As part of the government’s commitment to level-up the UK, the new GBR HQ will be based outside of London and bring a number of high-skilled jobs to the winning location. More details of the operation will be confirmed at a later date.

North Northamptonshire with its well-connected central location, railway heritage and commitment to the levelling up agenda, is thought by the council to be a strong candidate.

After assessing the options, the council intends to put forward the Station Island site adjacent to Wellingborough Station on the Midland Mainline as a potential location for the HQ.

Strengths of the site include its strategic scale, its availability with many services already in place and its close proximity to the new Stanton Cross development, which offers excellent leisure and other facilities. 

There is also potential to reuse the former ‘Roundhouse’ engine shed which has a strong rail heritage.

Discussions to put forward the bid also have the support of Stanton Cross Developments LLP which is the key landowner and principal developer of Stanton Cross.

This is tremendously exciting for North Northamptonshire and I’m delighted to be supporting this bid to Government to become the HQ for Great British Railways.

We have an excellent strategic position nationally and the Wellingborough site would be the perfect fit for such an operation, having a long history as a hub and sidings for the railway in addition to the opportunities afforded by the Station Island employment site within the Stanton Cross development.
Cllr Graham Lawman, the council’s Executive member for Highways, Travel and Assets
Being host to the headquarters of this new organisation would be a tremendous boost to the area and I’m committed to working as hard as possible to make this a reality.

Not only would North Northants benefit from such a project but equally our area has a tremendous amount to offer GBR.
Cllr Jason Smithers, Leader of the Council
We are delighted to support North Northamptonshire Council in their expression of interest and promote the restored former railway siding as a potential home for the HQ for GBR. Located immediately adjacent to the listed Wellingborough Rail Station there is fantastic potential to build on the site’s rail heritage.Chris Tompkins, Pre-Construction Director on behalf of Stanton Cross Developments LLP

The Government recently launched the competition to find a location based outside of London for GBR. The organisation will manage the country's rail infrastructure and set timetables and ticket prices.

The council will submit an expression of interest to Government by 16 March as a first step in the selection process.

Public support is important to help back-up the bid.  People can show their support by tweeting a message and using the tags:

  • #backtheNNbidGBRHQ
  • #DestinationGBR 

People can also email support for the bid to [email protected]