GCRE site plan

UK: The Global Centre of Rail Excellence is to hold a ‘meet the buyer’ event for potential suppliers in Cardiff on November 2, ahead of the award of contracts with an estimated value of £250m.

Formal procurement is expected to get underway in early 2023.

‘We’re beginning early consultation with prospective suppliers about the opportunities, to discuss current thinking and set out our plans to deliver a modern and dynamic test facility for international rail innovation with leading-edge research and development facilities’, explained Chief Commercial Officer Kelly Warburton.

Currently a wholly owned subsidiary of the Welsh government, GCRE was established in 2021 with an initial commitment of £50m. The UK government is expected to confirm a further £8m for research and development along with capital funding of £20m. An investment prospectus to attract private funding is currently under development and expected to be launched soon.

‘GCRE has the potential to transform the railway industry in the UK’, said Warburton. ‘We want the supply chain to be part of this with a real focus on collaboration and a genuine sense of partnership. From local contractors to major tier one industry partners, there will be plenty of opportunities to engage and be part of our journey.’