Delegation ready to bid to bring the High Speed Rail College to Yorkshire

Published 27th June 2014 at 8:13am

A delegation of leaders from across Yorkshire, backed by support from up and down the country, is set to bid to bring the High Speed Rail College to Doncaster tomorrow (Friday 27 June).

The delegation party will be presenting a strong case to Government and HS2 officials why they should choose Yorkshire rather than Birmingham, Derby and Manchester who are also in the running to land the research and teaching centre.

Mayor of Doncaster Ros Jones said:

“We are going all out to show how the college in Doncaster would have maximum impact on the national economy.

“It will benefit the Sheffield City Region, Yorkshire, the north-east and towns and cities up and down the East Coast Main Line.

“The amount of support we have received is staggering. From Stevenage in the south to Darlington in the north it should make the Government sit up and take notice. It is a game changer in terms of jobs and growth for Doncaster and Yorkshire.”

Andrew Percy MP and Barry Sheerman MP, Joint Chairs of the Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire Yorkshire All Party Parliamentary Group, said:

“Our region already contains the largest rail industry cluster in the country – with many thousands of people already employed in major centres such as York, Leeds and Doncaster.

“We are, of course, steeped in rail heritage and basing the College here in Yorkshire would be the logical step, we feel, to ensuring the maximum return on the Government’s investment.”

Cllr Stephen Parnaby OBE, Chair, Local Government Yorkshire & Humber and Leader, East Riding of Yorkshire Council, commenting on behalf of all 22 councils, Police & Crime Commissioners, Fire and Rescue and National Park Authorities across the region, said:

“Siting the College in Doncaster would secure the region as an internationally renowned centre of rail engineering excellence, attracting investment from across the globe.”

Emily Wolton, Chief Executive of Yorkshire Universities, said:

“We fully support the CREATE bid, in terms of the positive impacts it will have on local skills improvements, local growth and regeneration, and creating high quality new employment opportunities – and we are committed to doing all we can to work with partners so that the College can become an unequivocal success story for HS2, Yorkshire and Humber, and the UK as a whole.”

Cllr Peter Box, leader of Wakefield Council and Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, said:

“Doncaster’s long and distinguished rail industry heritage, excellent connectivity with the rest of the UK and high-quality engineering skills base, make it an ideal location for this important new establishment. Bringing the High Speed Rail College to Yorkshire represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to address our skills deficit.

“Siting it in Doncaster will provide an important, national nearby resource that will give young people in schools and colleges across the Wakefield District, West Yorkshire, the Leeds City Region and the North the opportunity to develop careers in planning and constructing HS2 and the UK’s rail networks of tomorrow.”

Bill Dixon, Leader of Darlington Council and Vice Chair of Tees Valley LEP added:

“I fully support Doncaster in their bid for the High Speed Rail College, it can only help the Tees Valley area and the new Hitachi plant on our doorstep.”

The bid was submitted by the private sector led Centre for Rail Engineering And Technical Excellence (CREATE), coordinated by Doncaster Council and supported by Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, business leaders and partners including local authorities across the region.

A final decision will be made by an advisory group in July following presentations by the bidders on Friday (27 June). The group will consist of representatives from Crossrail, HS2 Limited, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills and the Department for Transport.

People can back Doncaster’s bid at: www.businessdoncaster.com and keep updated with the latest news on Twitter: #railtown

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