Carnforth fails in bid to become national rail HQ

Carnforth has not made the shortlist to become the first home of Great British Railways.

By Michelle Blade
Wednesday, 6th July 2022, 3:45 pm

42 places across the UK applied to be the site for the new Headquarters for Great British Railways.

Following a groundswell of support from local people, organisations including Carnforth Town Council, and a petition from Lancaster Civic Vision, Lancaster city council agreed to submit an expression of interest for Carnforth.

Earlier this week Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced a shortlist of six places still in the running to be the Headquarters of Great British Railways and unfortunately Carnforth’s bid has not been successful.

Carnforth Station has been working together with Leighton Hall to entice more group visitors to the local area.

Preston also failed in its bid to become Great British Rail HQ.

Councillor Caroline Jackson, leader of Lancaster City Council, said: “We’re obviously very disappointed that our bid has not made it any further.

“Carnforth would have been an outstanding location for the headquarters, due to its rail heritage, connectivity and opportunities for levelling up.

“Despite the disappointment we’re proud to have been able to shine a light on Carnforth and its potential.

Carnforth Station and Visitor Centre

"We strongly believe Carnforth station has a key role to play in the future of sustainable travel in our district and will continue fighting for investment.”

David Morris MP, who launched a campaign to put Carnforth back on the railway map, said: “Carnforth can be extremely proud of the bid that was submitted to be the new Great British Rail Headquarters by Lancaster City Council.

"My campaign for Carnforth was one of the highest profile in Parliament, had cross party support, huge support in the local community and the backing of Lancaster Civic vision.

"It is extremely disappointing that we have not been successful on this occasion making the shortlist.

"Carnforth’s Rail Heritage is what makes Carnforth special, and the campaign has reminded people of what Carnforth has to offer visitors.”

A spokesman for Lancaster Civic Society said: “Lancaster Civic Vision are disappointed to learn that despite their strong campaign, in company with David Morris MP, that Carnforth has not been selected for the five areas shortlisted to go to a public vote for the new headquarters of Great British Railways.

“Lancaster Civic Vision stress that we must not lose this momentum as, with Eden Project North on the near horizon, there is a need for local rail links to be significantly improved.”