Nuneaton bids to be destination of Great British Railways HQ

Borough and county councils unite to push town's claim

Nuneaton railway station

Nuneaton is on the list of 42 towns, cities and regions hoping to become the home of Great British Railways, the new public body to head up the industry.

It will be in competition with a number of near neighbours to make it onto the shortlist announced in May, including Coventry, Birmingham and Tamworth - but there's no sign of Rugby, which lays claim to being the world's first railway junction town.

Sign up to our daily WarwickshireWorld Today newsletter

Other familiar names to Nuneaton rail users include Crewe, Northampton and Milton Keynes, with the rest of the contenders dotted around England and Scotland, among them such famous railway destinations as Stockton, Darlington, Swindon and York.

The list of places bidding for the HQ

But for now it's a case of waiting and seeing with Nuneaton's community leaders very positive about the town's chances.

On October 4, the Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps announced the competition with the intention that as part of the government's levelling up agenda, Great British Railways' headquarters would be outside London.

The first round, where expressions of interest could be made, finished on Wednesday, March 16. A shortlist will now be drawn up by May, which will be followed up by visits to the chosen few and a public vote.

Leader of Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council Cllr Kris Wilson confirmed the Nuneaton bid by his council and Warwickshire County Council (WCC) with a tweet: "As another example of our ambition for Nuneaton,@NuneatonMatters at both NBBC and WCC have submitted a bid to be the new national home of #DestinationGBR - I believe we are ideally placed in the centre of the country along with great transport links locally and nationally."

Nuneaton's location gives it exposure to a wide variety of rail traffic, being on the West Coast Main Line, on a key link with East Anglia, linked to Coventry and now Leamington - and a major point on the freight network.

Mr Shapps said: "The first stage of the GBR HQ comp has closed and it's amazing to see 42(!!!) places across the country come forward to be the new home of Great British Railways. It’s full steam ahead as we build the shortlist for the public vote #DestinationGBR."

For further details on the process, click here.