The UK has dropped its plans to build a £15m national rail centre in the city of Derby due to lack of funds.

The centre was to be a meeting point for rail representatives across the globe featuring a 200-seater auditorium, an exhibition hall, meeting rooms and a rail link for demonstrations and testing.

The city had beaten London to house the centre during a nationwide competition in 2005 and a 2.6-acre site near Pride Park was chosen.

Nearly £4.5m had been allocated by the East Midlands Development Agency (EMDA) for the project in 2005 with the rest of the funding expected to come from the private sector and European funding.

EMDA now admits the project, on which £1.95m was spent in 2006, had failed to attract investment.

An alternative site for the project is now being considered.