The Global Centre of Rail Excellence (GCRE) has outlined the next phase of its plans to bring in private sector investment. When it opens in 2025, GCRE will be a facility providing research, testing and certification of rolling stock, infrastructure and new technologies which it is said will fill a strategic gap not just in UK rail, but across Europe.
In November last year GCRE Ltd published a prior information notice, indicating its intention to invite investors from across the world to take a majority controlling equity stake in its business to support and fund the next development phases of the rail innovation facility it is constructing in South Wales.
Today, GCRE Ltd formally launches the procurement process, with the publication of a contract notice and selection questionnaire inviting applicants to pre-qualify. A memorandum of information outlining more detail of the investment opportunity is available on request.
“We believe that the customers needing and wanting to use a facility like ours – not just here, but across Europe – is significant and that in turn makes GCRE Ltd a strong commercial proposition and a unique investment opportunity. Today we have published further detail of that opportunity for potential investors, marking an important milestone in the procurement process,” said Simon Jones, GCRE Chief Executive.
With £50m of public funding already in place from the Welsh Government and £20m from the UK Government, GCRE is now seeking a single investor, or a consortium of investors, to help fund the innovation facility to completion and support the wider commercial potential of the site.
The total estimated capital cost is £400m, for investment phases 1 and 2. These investment phases include the delivery of the rail infrastructure, a new business premises, maintenance facilities and a hotel. The public procurement process is expected to run until the autumn of 2023.
Once selected bidders have been invited to the tender stage, additional information will be provided to them including detailed analysis such as the financial model, revenue and client base. Supporting GCRE in the procurement process are advisers EY and Ashurst LLP.
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