Made for GBR

The success of Britain’s railway is vital to the economy and people of the UK. For GBR to succeed, it must work with the whole rail industry as well as with other sectors to draw upon a broad range of skills and specialisms. Centred around Derby, the East Midlands is the rail capital of the UK, with a global reputation for excellence. Whilst Derby has a long 180 plus years of rail history, it remains home to a thriving rail ecosystem.

Here in Derby, we benefit from access to a diverse talent pool and sophisticated supply chain, within the rail sector and beyond - Great British Railways could clearly also benefit from this ecosystem and the strategic case for establishing the headquarters here is very strong indeed.

Mike Hulme, Site Managing Director, Alstom
Mike Hulme

Derby is made for GBR because it is:

  • One of the first great British railway towns
    From 1839 the railway transformed Derby from a market town to an industrial powerhouse.
  • The only city to have manufactured rolling stock continuously since 1840
    The city is still home to the UK’s most extensive train manufacturing capability. This proud tradition continues with Alstom to build HS2 trains at their Litchurch Lane site.
  • The geographic and strategic heart of Britain’s railway
    Derby offers direct rail access to London, Edinburgh and Cardiff as well as all five network regions.
  • Home to Europe’s largest cluster of private-sector rail businesses
    Co-locating GBR in Derby will accelerate public-private partnerships, grow skills, stimulate innovation and accelerate transport decarbonisation.
  • A centre of railway skills
    With over 11,000 highly-skilled rail employees based in the Derby area and 45,000 rail related jobs across the East Midlands – delivering train building and refurbishment, infrastructure maintenance and renewals, operations, digital technology, safety management, specialist finance and other key roles.
  • The continuing home of rail research
    In 1935 the LMS Scientific Research Laboratory was established which evolved into the globally recognised British Rail Railway Technical Centre, which opened in 1964. This tradition of innovation continues today through specialist rail consultancies, dynamic SMEs and the University of Derby’s Rail Research and Innovation Centre.
  • An industrial ecosystem which supports skills transfer and cross-sector collaboration
    This is a key to the success of Britain’s railway, with Derby being home to Rolls Royce and Toyota and their respective supply chains.
  • To be able to contribute significantly to the government’s levelling-up agenda
    GBR will help stimulate economic and employment growth across the East Midlands – Derby is yet to benefit from relocation of strategic government operations.

Number of UK rail sector businesses as defined by 5-digit SIC code by location (BEIS 2021)

Bar graph showing the number of UK rail sector businesses as defined by 5-digit SIC code by location (BEIS 2021). Derby has the highest number of businesses - almost 200 more businesses than the second highest location.