Swindon needs your help to keep Great British Railways HQ bid on track

By Nick Batten on 11 May, 2022

In March Swindon Borough Council submitted the town’s bid for a national Government-led competition  which aims to find a home for the HQ of Great British Railways – the new body that will soon become responsible for running Britain’s rail network.

Across the country, locations outside London with strong historical links to the railway have been encouraged to make the case for why they should be the new home of GBR.

The new central headquarters will be the heart of the rail network and provide strategic direction for the running of GBR.

The Swindon bid was submitted with the support of around 28 local businesses and organisations. In addition to this, an open letter was submitted to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, which was supported by more organisations, including Nationwide and Zurich. 

A shortlist of locations will be announced by the Government in early June, after which a public vote will help determine the winning location. So far, 41 other towns and cities have also submitted bids.

Over the next few weeks, Swindon Borough Council would like to demonstrate the level of local energy and support behind Swindon’s bid from across the community – and that’s where local businesses come in. 

Demonstrating public support is one of the main competition criteria. So, the council would appreciate your help, creativity and energy to publicly bang the drum and show your support for the bid and why you think Swindon should be shortlisted. 

How can you help? 

Bid organisers are looking for as many people as possible to demonstrate their support by completing this short survey. This is a simple way for the council to show the enthusiasm local people have for Swindon’s bid, so please complete this and share with your audiences, contacts, and staff. 

Over 2,000 people have shown their support so far, but as many responses as possible are required ahead of the shortlist being announced.

The benefits of the GBR HQ being located in Swindon would be vast, but will be different to each organisation. Please use your social media channels to publicly demonstrate your support – for example, a short video clip explaining how the HQ coming to Swindon would benefit you, your business and the town more widely. 

Remember to tag the bid in so they can re-share (@SwindonCouncil on Twitter or @SwindonBoroughCouncil on Facebook).

The national competition hashtag is #DestinationGBR, so showing your support for Swindon’s bid could be as simple as tweeting or posting on LinkedIn or Facebook, using #DestinationGBR. 

Please share the #DestinationGBR content the council is sharing on its channels, including on social media and via newsletters. You can find these on its Facebook page, Twitter and LinkedIn

You can also promote the council webpage, which provides more information about the competition and explains how residents can get involved.

Paddy Bradley, Chief Executive Officer of Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership – one of the organisations supporting the bid – said, “Swindon Borough Council, working with a range of partners has put together an excellent bid to host the national headquarters of the new organisation, Great British Rail. 

“In my view, the argument for Swindon is powerful. It has technological and cultural history, a thriving and resilient economy, ambition and a great range of options for the location.  Let us get behind the bid, it is great for the town and the wider region.  Swindon: a clever move!”

Councillor David Renard, Leader of the Council, added, “The railways are part of Swindon’s DNA and I believe there is no better place for the new Great British Railways to have its headquarters.”

If you need any more information or have any questions, please email: communications@swindon.gov.uk