July 5, 2022 4.00 pm This story is over 23 months old

Grantham misses out on bid to host new Great British Railways HQ

Town comes runner-up as six selected for shortlist

Grantham has missed out on being the new home of Great British Railways headquarters.

The town had applied to host the new HQ for the government’s attempt to create a single, integrated national network which will be run by teams in five regional divisions.

It is part of a series of reforms by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps and aims to be “a single guiding mind that ends the fragmentation of the rail industry”.

Council leaders had hoped that Grantham’s long railway heritage history, going back to 1850 would play a major part in its bid.

However, the government has instead selected a shortlist of six, including Birmingham, Crewe, Derby, Doncaster, Newcastle and York, with Grantham appearing in the list of 36 runners-up.

Announcing the bid back in March, Councillor Colin Davie, Lincolnshire County Council’s executive councillor for economy and place at the county council, said Grantham had been the “absolute centre of the railway industry” in the 30s and 40s.

Following the decision on Tuesday, he said: “We knew this would be a very competitive process, with so many places having strong submissions as we did.

“Of course it’s disappointing that Grantham has not made the shortlist, but together with South Kesteven District Council, we have big ambitions for the town’s growth and development.

“Grantham has a very bright and successful future ahead of it, and we are ready to take other opportunities like this when they arise.”

South Kesteven District Council leader Cllr Kelham Cooke said: “While I am disappointed that Grantham is no longer in the running to be the headquarters for Great British Railways, we know that the town will always be at the heart of the UK’s railway network – and a prime location for investment and for doing business.

“This, in turn, places South Kesteven at an advantage for business and residents wishing to be strategically located near the East Coast Main Line, placing the district just a stone’s throw from the capital.

“I would like to pass on my congratulations to those that made the shortlist and wish them every success in their bid.”

Some 60 of the biggest locomotives had been based at the depot in Grantham, including the Mallard and The Flying Scotsman.