Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Great British Railways Transition Team opens office in Derby

Great British Railways Transition Team (GBRTT) will officially take up residence in Derby next week at a new, temporary office located right next to Derby Railway Station.

This will give GBRTT an official presence in the city, while the search for a permanent home for Great British Railways (GBR) continues.

Since Derby was confirmed as the new home of GBR, the Council and other local partners have been working with the Transition Team to define a vision that aligns with the Council’s plans for the city.

This would act as a hub for the wider rail industry, propelling innovation and new thinking. The search will build on GBRTT’s work with Derby City Council and local partners to define a shared vision for the headquarters, following a public competition where the city was chosen in March 2023.

Earlier this year the government published its draft Rail Reform Bill – the legislation needed to create GBR. When passed, it will bring together responsibility for both track and train in a single organisation, to make the railway simpler to use, more efficient to run and better for the country as a whole. The draft bill is now being scrutinised by Parliamentarians and industry.

GBRTT is now due to brief a specialist property agent on identifying a versatile location for Great British Railways headquarters that, when stood up, will lend itself to bringing people together to work productively and innovate effectively.

Establishing a footprint in the city now will help GBRTT to work ever more closely with private and public sector partners across the Midlands and beyond, as they help get the sector ready for GBR.

Among other activities, GBRTT will use its new Derby office to host collaboration, engagement and innovation sessions with partners in the rail industry and beyond – as well as making it a core part of the team’s everyday operations. Located right next to Derby Railway Station, it will give staff more options to meet and work together in-person outside of London.

Councillor Baggy Shanker, Leader of Derby City Council, said: “I’m delighted to see the Transition Team establish a formal presence in Derby, and what better place than next door to Derby Railway Station, at the core of the largest rail cluster in the UK.

“There is still work to do to find a permanent home in the city, but it’s fantastic to see the progress being made and having the GBRTT located in Derby will continue to move things forward.

“The railway is so important to the city. For over 180 years, Derby has been at the centre of rail manufacturing, development and operations for the UK, providing crucial investment and jobs to generations of citizens. The rail industry is ingrained in our society and local economy, and we will continue to do all we can to protect that as we work with partners to secure the future of Alstom in Derby.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how we continue to work closely with the team over the coming months and the next steps to come.”

Paul Harwood, Director of Partners & Places at GBRTT, said: “Good ideas can come from anywhere, but innovation happens when people work together to put good ideas into practice. Our customers rightly expect a modern customer experience, while our funders expect efficiency, so rail must be open for business – ready to work with innovators to test new ideas at pace and to scale the pilots that work.

“We’re looking for a space that will ensure Great British Railways HQ is a catalyst for that vibrant, customer-first culture that will fan out from Derby.”

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