Share

Virgin Trains to give West Coast rail extension profits to 'good causes'

Virgin Trains to give West Coast rail extension profits to 'good causes'
News

Virgin Trains to give West Coast rail extension profits to 'good causes'1

Fundraising | Niki May Young | 6 Dec 2012

Virgin Rail Group (VRG), which was today appointed as operator of the InterCity West Coast franchise, has pledged to give all its profits for the service to good causes.

Speaking with civilsociety.co.uk this morning Ken Gibbs, communications manager for Virgin Trains, confirmed that Virgin would "certainly stand by the pledge" to pass on its profits to 'good causes', which may include charities, he said.

The details, said Gibbs, are yet to be worked out, as the train company only discovered last night that it had been awarded a new contract to run the West Coast service until 8 November 2014.

"We've yet to work out the detail but essentially we have said we will give donations to good causes. It's not our priority at the moment, there are other things we need to get resolved first and there are some things we still need to discuss with the Department of Transport. But we will be making the position clearer once we've gotten through the next few weeks clarifying what the deal means for customers, who at the end of the day are the priority," he said.

Virgin owns 51 per cent of VRG, while Stagecoach owns 49 per cent. Stagecoach has reportedly failed to meet VRG's generosity in pledging to donate profits. Gibbs said Virgin would be in discussions with Stagecoach about this: "That's something we need to resolve with them," he said.

Some 11.4 per cent of Stagecoach's operating profit comes from its UK rail services, which includes the joint venture with VRG and the principally-owned South West Trains and East Midlands Trains services. In the financial year to 30 April 2012, Stagecoach reported an operating profit on the VRG joint venture of £15.9m, and £28.4m in the previous year.

Virgin has operated the InterCity West Coast route since 1997. Today's VRG contract announcement comes following Virgin's campaigning in the summer against the Department for Transport's decision to award a new long-term contract for the franchise to FirstGroup. Virgin successfully had the decision revoked after significant flaws were found in the Department for Transport's bidding process.

A decision on the long-term service provider will be made between now and 8 November 2014. VRG's contract may be terminated prior to that date if a long-term franchise is ready to commence before it expires.

The InterCity West Coast route runs from London Euston to Glasgow, stopping in the West Midlands, North Wales, Manchester, Chester, Liverpool and Preston.

 

 

 

Peter Munro
6 Dec 2012

Profit is a figure they can make up to suit themselves so it's meaningless.

'good causes' is also almost meaningless.

If they pledged to give a specific minimum percentage of total income to registered UK charities, it would be meaningful and checkable.

Comments

[Cancel] | Reply to:

Close »

Community Standards

The civilsociety.co.uk community and comments board is intended as a platform for informed and civilised debate.

We hope to encourage a broad range of views, however, there are standards that we expect commentators to uphold. We reserve the right to delete or amend any comments that do not adhere to these standards.

We welcome:

  • Robust but respectful debate
  • Strongly held opinions
  • Intelligent relevant discussion
  • The sharing of relevant experiences
  • New participants

We will not publish:

  • Rude, threatening, offensive, obscene or abusive language, or links to such material
  • Links to commercial organisations or spam postings. The comments board is not an advertising platform
  • The posting of contact details for yourself or others
  • Comments intended for malicious purpose or mindless abuse
  • Comments purporting to be from another person or organisation under false pretences
  • Gratuitous criticism, commentary or self-promotion
  • Any material which breaches copyright or privacy laws, or could be considered libellous
  • The use of the comments board for the pursuit or extension of personal disputes

Be aware:

  • Views expressed on the comments board are left at users’ discretion and are in no way views held or supported by Civil Society Media
  • Comments left by others may not be accurate, do not rely on them as fact
  • You may be misunderstood - sarcasm and humour can easily be taken out of context, try to be clear

Please:

  • Enjoy the opportunity to express your opinion and respect the right of others to express theirs
  • Confine your remarks to issues rather than personalities

Together we can keep our community a polite, respectful and intelligent platform for discussion.

Free eNews

CAN and Senscot part ways with UnLtd over its vision for a 'private-profit social sector'

18 Sep 2014

Social enterprise support organisations CAN and Senscot have ended their relationship with UnLtd, set...

Governance code 'no longer fit' for large charities, says CFG trustee

17 Sep 2014

The sector’s code of good governance is no longer fit for purpose for large and complex charities and...

Ring-fencing public service contracts for charities is a bad idea, NPC tells Labour

16 Sep 2014

NPC has warned that introducing charity-only contracts is the “wrong approach to take”, in its response...

Lobbying Act comes into force today

19 Sep 2014

The Transparency of Lobbying, Non-party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014 comes into...

Devolution 'will affect how charities operate'

19 Sep 2014

The political landscape that charities operate in looks set to change following the Scottish decision...

Some charity leaders see themselves as ‘employees of government’

18 Sep 2014

Voluntary bodies and the state have become so intertwined that some charity leaders whose organisations...

JustGiving page for Manchester Dogs’ Home receives four donations a second

15 Sep 2014

JustGiving has said that donations going to an appeal for the Manchester Dogs’ Home following an arson...

Commission's new online charity search to launch soon after delay

15 Sep 2014

The Charity Commission’s searchable online register of charities is due to launch in beta this autumn,...

Charities warned that digital campaigns can be 'counterproductive'

9 Sep 2014

Charity digital campaigns can be counterproductive and will need to change to keep the attention of those...

Join the discussion

Twitter button

@CSFundraising