Campaign gathers pace to bring first national railways HQ to Carnforth

The campaign to make Carnforth the first national headquarters of Great British Railways is gathering steam.

By Louise Bryning
Tuesday, 22nd February 2022, 12:25 pm
Updated Tuesday, 22nd February 2022, 12:26 pm

This week, Lancaster Civic Vision, the operating name of Lancaster Civic Society, welcomed the announcement by Carnforth MP David Morris that he’s campaigning to secure the prestigious HQ for the railway town.

“We believe that there is an extremely strong case for this investment being made at Carnforth, including the contribution that this would make to the Levelling Up agenda, a strategic position close to the M6 as well as it being a natural complement to the forthcoming Eden Project North,” said David Morgan, a Lancaster Civic Vision spokesman.

The competition to find a town or city outside London to host the new headquarters is being run by the Great British Railways (GBR) Transition Team on behalf of the Department for Transport.

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The campaign to make Carnforth the first national headquarters of Great British Railways is gathering steam.

Lancashire County Council is responsible for submitting an Expression of Interest for the new HQ and Lancaster Civic Vision have launched their own campaign to demonstrate local support for Carnforth’s case.

They urge everyone in favour of supporting Mr Morris’s efforts to register their vote by going online {http://www.lancastercivicsociety.uk/vote-to-make-carnforth-the-first-national-head-quarters-of-great-british-railways/\here.}

Coun Peter Yates, who represents Carnforth on the city council and is a Lancaster Civic Vision committee member, has already spoken to county council leader Phillippa Williamson and cabinet member for highways and transport, County Coun Charlie Edwards.

“Everyone is pulling in the same direction, it’s not a political thing,” said Coun Yates.

“Carnforth has connectivity, a wonderful workforce, it’s a quality area to live in and has great railway heritage. It’s got everything going for it and if we can bring something as high profile as this HQ to the town, it’s bound to have a massive effect on the whole district.”

Lancaster City Council’s leader, Coun Caroline Jackson, agreed.

“Carnforth fits perfectly into the criteria for this competition and I think there’s going to be huge support from Carnforth residents," she said. "People will want to be employed there and the town will really welcome getting strong links with the railway back again.”

Carnforth mayor Coun Larry Branyan has welcomed the ‘wonderful idea’ too.

“Anything that brings jobs to the area must be a good thing and it fits in very well with our Neighbourhood Plan,” he said.

The closing date for submitting Expressions of Interest is March 16 and among the potential rivals to Carnforth’s bid is Crewe, championed by pop mogul and railway enthusiast, Pete Waterman.