Virgin Trains has today announced the appointment of Natasha Grice as People Executive Director, taking over from Patrick McGrath.
Natasha Grice, 42, joined Virgin Trains as a Customer Service Assistant 16 years ago from Virgin Atlantic where she was part of the cabin crew. She has worked in a number of functions across the business since then.“Working as part of the front-line team meeting customers every day was a great way to get under the skin of the railway” commented Natasha.
Currently working as General Manager for the Birmingham route, Natasha who was born in Birmingham, has spent time as a Duty Manager in Customer Relations, Station Manager and On-Board Manager and was instrumental in delivering the Virgin Trains 2012 Olympic customer experience offer.
Natasha then made the move to the Marketing Team where she led on the development of Virgin’s brand values as Head of Brand and then the company’s Talent Academy. Her breadth of knowledge of the business will be crucial in the new position.
Phil Whittingham, Managing Director of Virgin Trains on the west coast said: “We are proud to announce Natasha’s appointment as our new People Executive Director and welcome her to the executive. I’m delighted to have someone with Natasha’s experience and passion for Virgin Trains in such an important role in the business.”
Natasha Grice, newly appointed People Executive Director for Virgin Trains on the west coast said: “I feel honoured to be moving into the role of People Executive Director. I am passionate about Virgin Trains, our brand values and our people and it’s been a dream of mine to become People Director. I love seeing people progress and identifying paths for them. We’ve no problem attracting people to the business and are very good at retaining them – there are plenty of opportunities for them to try different roles.”
The role is currently held by Patrick McGrath’s who will retire in May after 18 years in the position.
About Virgin Trains:
Stagecoach and Virgin are working in partnership to operate the East Coast and West Coast inter-city routes under the Virgin Trains brand. Together, they are on track to revolutionise rail travel across the UK.
The combined network connects some of the nation’s most iconic destinations including Glasgow, Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Leeds, York and London.
Virgin Trains is committed to delivering a high speed, high frequency service, offering shorter journey times, more comfortable travel and excellent customer service. Customers consistently rate Virgin Trains as one of the top long-distance rail franchise operators in the National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) commissioned by industry watchdog, Transport Focus.
On the East Coast route, £140m is being invested to create a more personalised travel experience. We have already invested over £40m in our existing fleet, including £21m refurbishing the interiors and £16m towards improving the engines of our trains. Customers can now benefit from 42 additional services between Edinburgh and London every week, and an extra 22 Saturday services between Leeds and London – a total of 1.74 million additional seats since May 2016. 2018 will see the introduction of completely new Azuma trains being built in the UK by Hitachi.
The West Coast route has a proud record of challenging the status quo - from introducing tilting Pendolino trains, to a pioneering automated delay repay scheme and becoming the first franchised rail operator to offer m-Tickets for all ticket types.
Working together, the partnership railway of the public and private sectors has published a long-term plan, called In Partnership for Britain’s Prosperity, to change and improve Britain’s railway. The plan will secure almost £85bn of additional economic benefits to the country and contains four commitments which will see rail companies: strengthen our economic contribution to the country; improve customers’ satisfaction; boost the communities we serve; and, create more and better jobs in rail. For more information go to Britain Runs on Rail.
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