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General Manager

Location: KENDAL, CUMBRIA Salary: 40000.00 - 45000.00 GBP Per Annum
Sector: Business Support Job Type: Permanent
Shift Type: N/A Applications: N/A
Posted: 12 months ago Reference: 3053747
The current General Manager is stepping down after 40 years in the business and we now wish to recruit his successor.
As General Manager you will be fully responsible for the day to day operation of the Railway and for implementing the strategies, policies, and objectives set out in the business plan, which will help drive the Railway forward.

The Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway is one of a group of privately owned companies whose central office is located in Kendal, Cumbria. The Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway operates a 15' narrow gauge steam railway running from Ravenglass secen miles through the Eskdale Valley to Dalegarth. The Railway is one of the major tourist attractions in Cumbria, carrying over 100,000 passengers and with a turnover of nearly £2M per annum. 

The Railway is assisted in its day to day operation by the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railyway Preservation Society, many members of which volunteer for a wide range of duties. 

The railway is situated in a quiet, rural area of West Cumbra and the General Manager will be required to live within commuting distance of the attraction. Temporary housing may be available if required. 

As General Manager you will be responsible to the group's Chief Executive and to the Board of Directors. The Chief  Executive, who is based in the Kendal offices, regularly vists Ravenglass and, as General Manager, you will be expected to attend meetings in Kendal and various other locations. The principal direct reports will be the Operations Manager, Chief Engineer, Permanent Way Foreman and Commercial Manager, however, the General Manager will have ultimate responsibility for up to 50 staff and numerous volunteers.

As General Manager your duties and responsibilities will include, although not be limited to:
• Oversight of all operational activities of the Railway including traffic, engineering and permanent way and all commercial activities including the 2 cafes, 2 visitor ticket office/shops, 3 self-catering holiday lets and 2 visitor car parks.
• Management of all permanent and seasonal staff employed at the Railway, liaising with the Chief Executive over any HR issues.
• Responsibility for all volunteers working at the Railway and for close liaison with the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway Preservation Society over the arrangements for volunteers.
• All Health and Safety matters at the Railway, ensuring that the health and safety of our customers, employees and any other persons on site is paramount and that work is undertaken in a safe manner.
• Reporting to and liaising with the relevant regulatory bodies.
• Ensuring that customer service is at the heart of what we do. Suggesting and implementing ideas to ensure that the visitor experience exceeds expectations so that we continue to be recognised as an award winning attraction and maintain our reputation both locally, nationally and within the heritage railway industry.
• Working with the Chief Executive to keep the five year plan up to date, presenting costed new ideas to the Board.
• Preparing, in conjunction with department managers and the group Finance Manager, an annual budget and programme of work in line with the 5-year plan for approval by Senior Management and Directors.
• Ensuring that the annual budget and business plan is delivered, taking full profit responsibility for the business.
• Overseeing and coordinating all projects undertaken, working in close liaison with the Chief Executive.
• Attending and reporting to all Board Meetings of Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway Co Ltd
• Liaising with the Ravenglass Railway Museum Trust in relation to the day-to-day management of the Railway Museum.
• Maintaining, through good communication and support, a “can do”, harmonious team working throughout the Railway thereby ensuring a friendly, efficient and smooth running service for all our customers.
• Ensuring that all employees receive regular updates and have the opportunity to feed back issues and ideas for improvement.
• Ensuring that all employees received annual performance reviews, aligning their objectives with those of the company.
• Working with the group marketing department to prepare and deliver marketing plans.
• Maintaining good relations with the community in which we operate, with our neighbours and tenants along the line and with other heritage railways.
• Undertaking any other tasks required from time to time which may contribute towards the successful operation of the Company.

The successful candidate will have:
• Proven management experience within a similar heritage or visitor attraction organisation.
• A high level of commercial awareness and the ability to develop commercial opportunities.
• A genuine interest in quality and appreciation of the need for excellent customer service.
• Experience of managing people – the ability to develop, lead and inspire a team and delegate effectively to them.
• Good inter-personal skills – being a good listener and natural communicator who has the confidence to lead from the front.
• Good administrative and organisational skills.
• Full EBITDA experience that can balance the operational needs of the business with maximising standards and income opportunities whilst keeping an appropriate control of costs.
• Enthusiasm and energy

It would also be advantageous for candidates to have an understanding of engineering and an interest in heritage locomotives.


Leave Entitlement: 30 ½ working days per annum inclusive of statutory holidays plus one additional day following the completion of 5 years continuous service.
Enhanced benefits: discounts on national rail travel
Working days are flexible.
A series of staff discounts and benefits are available across our group of businesses.

As this is a retained client of Reed Business Support, all CV's sent directly to them will be forwarded back to Kelly Cruxton at Reed for consideration. To save any delays in your application, please forward all CV's to Kelly Cruxton directly.

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