GWSR appoints new marketing manager
By Matt Hall | 9th March 2021
The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway (GWSR) has appointed its first marketing manager in a paid position.
Catherine Johnson, BSc (Hons), CIM of Solihull, is only the eighth employee within the otherwise entirely volunteer-run heritage railway.
At a time when the railway is preparing to restart covid-secure services from April 13, Ms Johnson joins the management team at a crucial point in its development. She is at present reporting to Janet Gough, the railway's volunteer resources director and acting marketing director, following the recent resignation of Graham Radband for family reasons.
The steam railway, which counts on more than 950 volunteers, expects to appoint a new marketing director in a voluntary capacity (the entire board of GWSR Plc are volunteers) and to whom Miss Johnson will report in due course.
Miss Johnson has previously held marketing management or director positions within industry, the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and latterly, having gained her PGCE at Worcester University, has been teaching in Solihull and Coventry.
She said: "As we emerge from a series of lockdowns which have significantly curtailed the railway's business, the board has taken the opportunity to re-think the railway's management structure. It is clear that marketing is a crucial discipline that needs professional input to help grow our railway's busines into the future.
"We operate a 14-mile railway between Cheltenham and Broadway, through some of the most glorious countryside in England. We are one of the largest tourist attractions in the Cotswolds and we have the capacity to carry many more passengers than the 125,000 who enjoyed our railway in 2019."
"My first task, is to audit the range of marketing and communications activities on the railway and recommend a marketing plan that both co-ordinates these and firmly places the GWSR in the top echelon of the Cotswolds tourism market. Our railway is well placed to become top-of-mind for families looking for an enjoyable day out. This year of our 40th Anniversary is the perfect time to do this."
Miss Johnson is based at the railway's headquarters offices in Churchward House, Winchcombe station.
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