New company to sell off rail land

Network Rail is set up a separate property company to sell off surplus railway lands; it is expected to raise £1.8bn for investment funding.

A separate organisation was established in April under the leadership of David Biggs (currently managing director of Network Rail Property). The new company board will be chaired by Chris Gibb, who has been a non executive NR director since 2013.

The new company will recruit personnel with specialist expertise in commercial and residential property; much emphasis will be given to releasing land for housing.

The government pledged an additional £700m funding for Network Rail following the Hendy Review in November, but this was conditional on raising £1.8bn through asset disposal.

Biggs says: “Our new property company will have greater powers to unlock land for homes, drive economic growth in towns and cities and reinvest money into the rail network to help fund the Railway Upgrade Plan. It will mean that investment or asset disposal decisions can be made at the right level within the organisation in a timely way while ensuring appropriate oversight is in place.”

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