Global Centre of Rail Excellence Launches Major Private Investment Opportunity

The Global Centre of Rail Excellence (GCRE) has announced that it is inviting investors from across the world to take an equity stake in its business and support the next phase of the project’s development.

With kick-start public funding already in place from both the Welsh and UK Governments, the project is due to start construction early in 2023 and will be fully operational in 2025.

The project is now taking the next step in its development with GCRE Ltd, which is currently wholly owned by the Welsh Government, seeking a joint venture partner (“Strategic Investor”) to develop and fund GCRE to completion.

The Strategic Investor will play a lead role in the project’s successful and timely implementation, along with further commercialisation of the GCRE opportunity. The Strategic Investor could be a single investor or a consortium of investors, who will acquire a majority shareholding in and control of GCRE Ltd.

A formal procurement process has begun with the publication of a Prior Information Notice (PIN).

Chief Executive of GCRE Simon Jones said:

“The Global Centre of Rail Excellence is one of the most important and creative rail infrastructure projects in rail today. As a purpose-built, integrated site for world class testing, research and development of rolling stock, infrastructure and new rail technologies, it will be a vital addition to the railway industry landscape, not just in the UK but across Europe.

“Our plan has always been to work with private sector partners to seek their investment and, importantly, their knowledge and skills in key areas such as rail and energy to realise the exciting GCRE vision as strategic partners. Both Welsh and UK governments recognise that as a commercial venture GCRE needs private sector support to be built and become established.

“With the launch of a procurement process this week we want to encourage partners from across the world to look at our project and to recognise the strong investment opportunity it represents.

The GCRE project includes the construction of a £250m railway. Further phases of potential investment include development of the wider commercial potential of the 700 hectare site – including the creation of a new business technology park and hotel. The total investment for the development, including initial property developments and the traction power supply, is £400m

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