Virgin Trains and good causes
At Euston Station meeting with wonderful staff and passengers ahead of the Transport Select Committee later today.
Most of my time these days is spent on our foundation and its charitable ventures including The Elders, Carbon War Room, OceanElders, reforming the war against drugs and protection of dwindling species.
The last few weeks however have been occupied by conversations on Trains. The Virgin Group invests profits we make from both our trains and our planes on good causes like developing clean energy to help tackle global warming.
When we asked the Government to pause the process to award the West Coast Franchise so that the bid could be independently audited, I said if this needed the current franchise to be extended for a short period of time I and my partners at Stagecoach would be willing to do this on a not-for-profit basis, or donate any profits to charity.
This prompted a very good point from @w0lvesno2 on Twitter, who said that seeing as the good people of Britain are supporting Virgin Trains and signing the e-petition, we should show the lead and give something back on a longer term basis.
Having thought about @w0lvesno2’s tweet, if we are successful in court and continue to run the West Coast Mainline over the next 13 years, I am happy to pledge that 100% of any dividends and royalties Virgin Group and myself take out will continue to fund our investments in clean energy; but as well as that I would use part of this money to invest in British charities.
Virgin Unite will look to support British charities that benefit those cities up and down the West Coast Mainline in particular and carry on the work that Virgin Trains is already doing.
This pledge will greatly increase this activity and I look forward to involving our staff at Virgin Trains - who have done such a wonderful job - to help us decide which causes we should support.
Thanks again for your continued support, on behalf of all of us at Virgin Trains.
Email: Peter Blakeborough's Blog