End of the line for Peterborough's ambitious bid to be the home of new GB Railways HQ

Hopes are firmly pinned to £70 million Station Quarter project

By Paul Grinnell
Wednesday, 6th July 2022, 5:00 am

Disappointment has been voiced at the derailing of a bid to bring a jobs-creating Great British Railways HQ to Peterborough.

The city has failed in its attempt to be shortlisted among the final six of 42 cities and towns to be considered by the Department for Transport as the location for the HQ, which is being created as part of a national shake-up of the country’s rail operations.

Peterborough MP Paul Bristow said: “Whilst I am disappointed at the decision, the Government did hear in a very positive way everything Peterborough has going for it.

Peterborough has lost out in the battle to be chosen as the home of the new GB Railways headquarters.

“The task now is to get the Government behind the £70 million Station Quarter development for Peterborough. We need to bring the same energy and enthusiasm to bear on this project as we did for the GB Railways HQ.

“It has not been time wasted and Peterborough still has a fantastic future.”

The Station Quarter development proposes the creation of a double sided station, a new western entrance, footbridge, public realm improvements, retail outlets and offices.

It is hoped £43 million of the costs will come through the Government’s Towns Fund scheme with a bid for the monies due to be submitted to the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

Tom Hennessy, chief executive of Opportunity Peterborough, which oversaw the GB Railways HQ bid, said: "Peterborough has a fantastic rail heritage and with our plans for the Station Quarter this seemed like a great investment opportunity for GBR so we're disappointed to have not made the final shortlist.

"Thank you to all of the organisations and individuals who helped us put together a very compelling bid to bring GBR HQ to Peterborough.

"The overwhelming support is testament to the passion there is for Peterborough and its fantastic offer for residents and businesses.

"This decision will not hold back plans for the Station Quarter which is one of eight city centre sites undergoing a combined £660 million transformation.

"We're still one of the fastest growing cities in the country, businesses continue to invest here, and with our university opening in September, it's a very exciting time for our city.”

The locations shortlisted for the GB Railways HQ are Birmingham, Crewe, Derby, Doncaster, Newcastle and York.

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