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General Manager – Weardale Railway

Location: Bishop Auckland

Salary: £50-55k per annum

Job Type:

Job ID: 169365

We are delighted to be engaged to provide exclusive support to the Board at The Auckland Project as they look to attract high calibre and highly motivated candidates for a series of unique and exciting key leadership roles.

The Auckland Project is dedicated to the regeneration, conservation, and celebration of the stories and heritage of the former home of the Prince Bishops of Durham. For the past ten years, its regeneration charity has sought to create sustainable, commercial opportunities that will drive investment into Bishop Auckland and the surrounding County Durham area.

With over 35 pipeline projects underway the inspirational team have already successfully run a number of world class attractions including:- Auckland Castle, Mining Art Gallery, Binchester Roman Fort, the Weardale Railway, the newly opened Spanish Gallery and a Faith Museum – the first of its kind to contemplate the history of faith in Britain and what it means in the present day.

Role Purpose

The Project is seeking an experienced General Manager to take on the responsibility for the day to day running of an 18- mile long heritage line running from Bishop Auckland to Stanhope in County Durham. Ambitious plans are in development to run a mixture of diesel heritage trains as well as an extensive event programme. The Railway has a small permanent paid staff carrying out a wide variety of duties, including workshop activities, track maintenance and administrative duties, supported by a dedicated and experienced volunteer workforce of around 50.

As General Manager, you will manage the infrastructure, rolling stock and operations of the Weardale Railway depot, ensuring it is safe to operate and commercially successful. You will make the railway commercial and assist to develop the offer in line with The Auckland Project vision and the Restoring your Railway Fund. Working with the TAP Commercial Director and the Head of Visitor Operations you will ensure passengers and visitors experience is of extremely high quality.

Key Responsibilities

Dealing with day-to-day operational issues such as trespass and contractor access.

To run a safe railway.

Managing the operational budgets within agreed parameters.

Providing appropriate management information to the Senior Management Team in a timely manner.

Management and motivation of the Weardale Railway team.

Monitoring of training needs for the workforce and ensuring that all required certifications are current and appropriately recorded and updated.

Working with the relevant people within The Auckland Project and to draw on it’s core functions.

Monitoring the condition of all property assets ensuring that cost effective service contracts are in place, supported by a monitoring and maintenance programme that meets our compliance requirements.

Liaising with the Weardale Railway Trust and other 3rd parties in order to prepare annual operating and working timetables.

Managing and monitoring the website and social media channels.

Key Person Specification

It is likely you will have the ability to oversee and implement Safety Management Systems and to assist the board in their further development. You should be an effective communicator, able to inspire and motivate staff and volunteers, and someone who works to the highest standards with attention to detail. Essentially you will have a good level of business and commercial awareness and be financially literate, including budgetary control, cashflow preparation. Key will be your experience of developing strategic business plans and working in a volunteer-based organisation.

To apply please send your CV and covering letter ( maximum 2 A4 pages) to Ray Williamson at NRG. To receive a full candidate pack or for an informal chat please contact Lead Project Consultant General Ray Williamson on T: 0191 260 4404 | M: 07593583404