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Cheshire MPs and Council Leaders have ramped up their campaign to back Crewe’s bid to become the home of Great British Railways.

Crewe is one of a number of towns and cities across the UK that have submitted a bid to host the headquarters of Great British Railways, the new organisation which will run the UK’s rail network.

MPs across Cheshire, including Crewe and Nantwich MP Kieran Mullan, spoke up for Crewe during a debate in Parliament last week.

The bid has cross party support at Cheshire East Council as well as support from neighbouring Chester West & Chester and Warrington Councils.

Dr Mullan said the strengths of Crewe’s bid is on connectivity, railway heritage, local railway industry and value for money.

Other Cheshire MPs Edward Timpson, Fiona Bruce, Mike Amesbury and Chris Matheson also spoke.

Dr Mullan said: “Crewe could not be a better-connected part of our railway network.

“It is at the heart of the freight industry and will be at the heart of the next generation of our railway network in the form of HS2.

“There is a rich, local, modern railway industry that has grown from our heritage, which means that the key players will only ever be a short walk away-and if they are not, they will definitely be a short train journey away.

Dr Kieran Mullan speaking during the debate on Railways HQ
Dr Kieran Mullan speaking during the debate on Railways HQ

“Crewe has its challenges and bringing GBR to Crewe would help us on our journey to improvement in a fantastic way.

“That journey represents opportunities for GBR, too: it is a place where people can live and work affordably, in an office that would represent value for money for the taxpayers.

“I am ambitious for Crewe; the people of Crewe are ambitious for Crewe.

“And I hope the Minister can be ambitious for Crewe as well.”

Cllr Sam Corcoran, leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “It has been fantastic to see the outpouring of support received for Crewe’s GBR bid from not only those locally, but from the wider county, region and beyond.

“Today serves as a great opportunity to celebrate that unity and the strength behind Crewe’s bid, and to recognise all that this important Cheshire town – one of the most connected in the UK – has to offer as the future home of Great British Railways.”

Warrington Borough Council wrote to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps to outline its support for Crewe’s bid.

Steve Broomhead, Chief Executive and Cllr Hans Mundry, Cabinet Member for Highways, Transportation and Public Realm, said: “Crewe and the wider Cheshire and Warrington sub-region can offer Great British Railways unrivalled connectivity, access to the highest skilled workforce in the North, excellent value for money in terms of land and property and a quality of life that is hard to beat.

“Selecting Crewe as the Headquarters for Great British Railways would not only act as a catalyst for the regeneration of Crewe but would also be a huge vote of confidence in the wider Cheshire and Warrington sub-region.”

Cheshire West and Chester Council Leader Cllr Louise Gittins added: “Cheshire West and Chester welcomes Crewe’s bid to accommodate the HQ of Great British Railways.

“It is one of the country’s great railway towns and connects our borough to other parts of the UK.

“I am sure, if successful, it will become an even more significant location than it is currently, which will benefit the whole county of Cheshire.”

Annette McDonald, Cheshire and Warrington LEP Member for Transport and Chair of the Local Transport Board, also added: “The support for Crewe felt around the county is a testament to our region and our people.

“Crewe is a town steeped in rail heritage and absolutely primed to become home to the GBR HQ.

“It’s been galvanizing to see the whole county get behind that; we are lucky to be part of such a brilliant community.”

To support Crewe’s bid for GBR HQ, people can visit the dedicated website gbrcrewe.co.uk when it launches, and also share thoughts on social media, using the hashtag #HeartOfRail.

An announcement on which areas have been shortlisted for GBR is likely to be made in May, before a non-binding public vote and final decision in summer 2022.

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