COUNTY Council chiefs are calling on the public to get on board with the bid to make Worcester Shrub Hill the home of the headquarters for Great British Railways (GBR).
Dozens of towns and cities across the country, including Worcester, entered a competition in March to provide the national home for the new organisation to run the railways.
Worcestershire’s bid focusses heavily on the plans to completely transform the historic Shrub Hill Quarter which has the 1850-built railway station at its heart. The works at Shrub Hill will see the re-birth of one of the largest Midlands brownfield sites, bringing new homes and jobs.
County Hall owns historic, rail industry, Grade-II buildings next to Shrub Hill Station and these would offer GBR modern, bespoke, attractive, sustainable and flexible choices for its HQ making it a special setting for the headquarters.
As well as demonstrating a rich railway heritage, good connectivity and value for money, a successful bid must also be able to show public support, so people across Worcestershire are being encouraged to back the Worcester Bid.
Gary Woodman, interim assistant Ddrector of Economy, said: “Over the last 10 years Worcestershire has been making tremendous strides to improve our rail connectivity. We have seen the creation of Worcestershire Parkway, the first new rail station in the county for over 100 years, as well as work to modernise Kidderminster station have been completed and now developments are being planned for Shrub Hill Station.
“All these developments are helping to make rail travel more accessible for all those who live, work and invest in Worcestershire and we need members of the Worcestershire community to support the county’s bid to be the home of the Great British Railways to help further amplify Worcestershire’s status across the country, so that we can continue our case to improve the county’s physical connectivity.”
The council is asking people to get involved by taking a short survey, indicating why they think the HQ should be based in Worcester. This will help ensure there is a foundation on which to build a public vote campaign if Worcester is shortlisted. Visit www.worcestershire.gov.uk/gbrhq for more.
The shortlisted entries will be announced this month and ministerial visits will take place to the shortlisted areas in the same month.
The public will then be asked to vote for the winner which will be revealed in the summer.