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Virgin Trains teams up with Virgin StartUp to help local businesses

Press release   •   Apr 20, 2016 09:44 BST

Virgin Trains is encouraging entrepreneurs to grow their businesses with a series of pop-up stalls at stations across its east coast route.

It has teamed up with Virgin StartUp to help the budding businesses promote and trial their products to customers at Newcastle, Darlington York and Doncaster stations as part of Business in the Community’s Responsible Business Week.

This follows Virgin Trains last year establishing monthly Pop-up shop events at Darlington and York stations as part of its growing portfolio of activities to support local businesses and communities.

Jennie Pitt, People Engagement and Community Relations Manager for Virgin Trains, said: “We’ve got a wide range of businesses on our station concourses this week, from ‘Rovernighter’ dog travel beds, to food stalls and inflatable pubs to hire!

“We’re helping these businesses to promote their products and services, to test the market and generate sales.

“We’re really keen to support the communities on our route, and it’s great to team up with Virgin StartUp to support new businesses.”

Virgin StartUp is a not-for-profit organisation which helps entrepreneurs to get the funding and support they need to take their business ideas forward.

Mei Shui, Managing Director of Virgin StartUp, said: “We are very excited to partner with Virgin Trains during Responsible Business Week. This gives VSU-supported start-ups a unique opportunity to put their fantastic products and services on show at train station platforms across the East Coast.

"If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, then I challenge you to find participating start-up businesses and show them your support and ask them about what support Virgin StartUp and its local partners can provide – it could be the first stop on the journey to running your own business.”

Responsible Business Week is organised by Business in the Community to encourage businesses to work together.

For more information about Virgin StartUp visit:

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. This includes a major fleet revamp, smarter stations and exciting new routes. From May 2016, there will be 42 additional services (22,000 extra seats) per week between Edinburgh and London. 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.

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Press Office: 0845 000 3333.