YORK’S bid to become the home of the High Speed Rail college has got the official backing of the city council.

The bid, which will be submitted by Network Rail as owners of the York Central site which could host the college, got council cabinet backing at a meeting on Wednesday.

Council leader James Alexander thanked the Press, which launched the On Track For York campaign to bring the college to the city, for its support.

He said winning the bid would be a great coup for the city. It has already won strong private-sector support at a meeting on Tuesday, as well as backing of other public bodies including the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership and Darlington Borough Council.

The college will provide all the training for rail investment in the coming decades including HS2, council chief executive Kersten England said.

A report by Darren Richardson, the council’s director of city and environment services, said: “Competition from other cities is expected to be intense; however, the case for locating the college in York is strong as it is already a national hub for employment and research in the rail industry.”

The city is already the UK’s largest city for the rail industry outside London, and a proven attractor of talent and a great place to study, the report added.

The Department for BIS is currently consulting on the college location, inviting bids by the end of the month.