Momentum builds for Doncaster’s HS2 rail college bid

Computer-generated visuals of a high speed train. HS2. For editorial usage only.
Computer-generated visuals of a high speed train. HS2. For editorial usage only.

Doncaster’s bid to be the home of the High Speed Rail College is gathering momentum with support coming forward from across Yorkshire and further afield.

Two weeks ago, the Government announced Doncaster had made the national shortlist of four competing against Birmingham, Derby and Manchester to land the college which will transform the rail and engineering sector delivering jobs and growth.

Since this announcement, Doncaster’s bid has seen an upsurge of support from key players who can see the benefit of having this research and teaching centre based close by.

Mayor of Doncaster Ros Jones, said: “I am delighted support is growing with businesses and partners seeing how they can benefit from the new college being located in Doncaster.

“By choosing Doncaster, the Government will show they are committed to spreading the benefit of HS2 to other parts of the country. Doncaster is and always will be the home of rail engineering.”

Labour Leader of City of York Council, Cllr James Alexander said: “The Doncaster rail college bid is an excellent opportunity for the Government to help to rebalance the national economy from south to north. If successful this bid will provide huge benefits not only to Doncaster and the Sheffield City Region but to York, the wider Yorkshire and Humberside region and to the North East too. Doncaster has excellent connectivity on the East Coast Mainline including connectivity to Scotland and this means the opportunity for Doncaster is actually an opportunity for the UK as a whole.”

Roger Marsh, Chairman of Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, said: “If the Doncaster bid is successful, we are ready to work closely with the Sheffield City Region LEP to ensure that economic benefits and training opportunities for residents from the new High Speed Rail college are spread across Yorkshire and the north.

“Our LEPs are already working together across a number of key economic areas including projects to attract inward investment, improve transport connectivity and funding for growing businesses.”

Carl Garrud, Managing Director of Austrian rail group Rhomberg Sersa, is also backing Doncaster’s bid: “We are planning to expand our operations and looking at new locations. Doncaster gives us the best opportunity in terms of existing infrastructure and engineering prowess.”

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: and keep updated with the latest news on Twitter: #railtown