Carlisle City Council to vote to back Great British Railways head office bid

A VOTE will take place at an all-council meeting next week, which, if passed, will see councilors “of all political hues” backing a bid to host the Great British Railways headquarters.

Carlisle City Council will meet at the Civic Center on March 1 and Councilor James Bainbridge will propose a motion that is expected to receive all-party support.

Tory MP for Morton West will move council to back Carlisle’s bid to host the Great British Railways head office.

The UK government launched a competition in October 2021 to find the first headquarters of Great British Railways – a single body responsible for the country’s railways.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the national organization will be based outside London and that whatever city succeeds in hosting the headquarters will be rich in railway history.

Carlisle City Council officers are in the process of submitting an expression of interest, working with partner organizations and the town’s MP, John Stevenson.

Cllr Bainbridge’s motion will call on councilors from all political backgrounds to support them in their candidacy.

Cllr Bainbridge told the Local Democracy Service: ‘The government’s announcement of a new headquarters for GB Railways outside London will boost the economy of whatever town or city succeeds in the process of candidacy, bringing opportunities for skilled and well-paid jobs.

“I have no doubt there will be many applications sent in from across the UK, but Carlisle has a proud rail heritage, is a serious rail player today in terms of freight and passenger movements.

“With the government-backed improvements to the station and the prospect of Carlisle becoming the HS2 stop for Cumbria, we have an excellent and positive bid to make.”

Cllr Bainbridge said passing the motion would be a sign of ‘political goodwill’ for the officers of the council’s five political groupings.

And all-party support is expected for the motion next week.

Opposition Leader Les Tickner said, “We would absolutely support anything that brings quality careers and jobs to the city.”

The Labor leader said Carlisle had a strong chance in the whereabouts contest.

“Carlisle has a strong rail history, my whole family worked on rail, my brother and I were the only ones who didn’t.

“I think we have a good chance with some great officers working there. You can see the success we’ve had with the Borderlands deal.”

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