DPM “whole-hearted support” for rail college bid

Published 10th July 2014 at 9:24am

The Deputy Prime Minister and Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) from across Yorkshire and the North-East have put their weight behind the bid to bring the High Speed Rail College Bid to the Sheffield City Region.

Sheffield Hallam MP, Nick Clegg has written to Vince Cable, expressing his “wholehearted support for this bid” and urging the Secretary of State for Business to choose Sheffield City Region over rival bids from Derby, Manchester and Birmingham.

The chairs of Sheffield City Region LEP, Hull and Humber LEP, Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, North East LEP, Tees Valley Unlimited and the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership have all endorsed the campaign by writing to Government Ministers pledging their support.

All the LEPs agreed that the CREATE (Centre for Rail Engineering and Technical Excellence) bid, coordinated by Doncaster Council, for the High Speed Rail College in Doncaster complements significant existing rail assets and investments in this part of the country.

James Newman, Chair of the Sheffield City Region LEP, said: “The Chancellor spoke about the importance of rebalancing the UK economy to create a ‘northern powerhouse’. Locating the High Speed Rail College bid in the Sheffield City Region will be an important step to achieving this.

“By locating the college in Doncaster, the Government will maximise the transformational benefits in an area that needs it – this is their opportunity to really start spreading the benefits of HS2.

“Doncaster is not only most logical place in the Sheffield City Region to locate the High Speed Rail College, it is the best place in the country. The LEP believes that the collective confidence shown by local leaders from across the private and public sectors to bring the main hub to Doncaster will help Government to make the right choice.”

Ros Jones, Mayor of Doncaster, said: “The backing of the LEPs shows the strength of support for locating the High Speed Rail College in Doncaster. It is clear that Yorkshire, the North-East and other towns and cities up and down the UK will benefit and they have publicly endorsed the bid. This is an opportunity for the Government to spread the benefit of HS2 and rebalance the economy. Let’s hope they are taking notice.”

An advisory group consisting of representatives from Crossrail, HS2 Limited, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills and the Department for Transport is expected to make a decision shortly. Doncaster is up against Birmingham, Derby and Manchester for the research and teaching centre.

There is still time for people to back Doncaster’s campaign by pledging their support at: www.businessdoncaster.com and posting comments on Twitter: #railtown

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