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All Tracks Lead to Coventry for Network Rail Managers

The purchase of a new purpose-built residential leadership centre was announced today by Network Rail. The centre will welcome over 4,000 managers and supervisors through its doors over the next two years as Network Rail seeks to strengthen its leadership capability. Network has commissioned the University of Warwick, one of the UK's leading research universities, to provide the training.

The stunning "Westwood" leadership centre, in Coventry, is a £20 million investment in Network Rail's key leaders of today and tomorrow and covers its purchase, the installation of new facilities, the development of the curriculum and the running of the centre.

Iain Coucher, Network Rail's Deputy Chief Executive, said: "Leadership skills are critical to the success of our company's mission to rebuild Britain's railways. The investment in Westwood is a vital part of our long-term plans to develop a team of professionals: Strong managers who will lead our company into the next decade."

Network Rail will work in partnership with two of the University of Warwick's most world renowned departments to create the training programmes - Warwick Business School (one of Europe's Leading Business Schools), and Warwick Manufacturing Group (which works with governments and companies on 5 continents in the areas of leading edge engineering technology and engineering management). The centre will deliver a programme of professional skills development including accredited leadership and management courses. The first Network Rail managers are expected to enrol for study later this year.

The purpose-built, fully residential training and conference centre has been purchased from the telecommunication group Cable & Wireless. The complex has around 150 study-bedrooms and 40 meeting / conferences rooms.

University of Warwick Vice-Chancellor, Professor David VandeLinde added: "We bring to this partnership some of Europe's most highly rated and valued management and engineering experts and trainers who will help equip Network Rail staff with the skills they need to manage and develop such a crucial part of the UK's transport infrastructure."

Notes to Editors

1. Network Rail is the "not for dividend" owner and operator of Britain's railway infrastructure, which includes the tracks, signals, tunnels, bridges, viaducts, level crossings and stations - the largest of which they also manage

2. Network Rail are working to rebuild Britain's railway and provide a safe, reliable and efficient rail infrastructure for freight and passenger trains to use.

For further details please contact:

Network Rail Media contact: 020 7557 8292

Peter Dunn, Press & Media Relations Manager
University of Warwick, Tel: 024 76 523708 or 07767 655860

PR38 17th May 2005