Contacting the SVR
A key recommendation of the shareholder review is the establishment of a Shareholder Relationship Manager role.
Karen Bromell, who is Ticket Sales and Information Manager has undertaken this role.
Direct number: 01562 757907
Please note that all transactions between you, as a shareholder, and any member of SVR staff are governed by our values and behaviours policy, which you can view by using the link on the left below.
The Independent Shareholder Review
The SVR recently commissioned Durnin Research to conduct an independent shareholder review. This review was completed and the review report was produced in July 2022.
The company is working to implement the recommendations of the report, which can be accessed from the link below.
The Review Action plan
Following on from the Durnin Report, the company has developed an action plan to implement the recommendations from the report.
You can access the action plan from the link below:
Further information about the shareholder review
We announced the review in April 2022: Branchlines - April 2022
SVR (Holdings) shareholder review
In late March, SVR (Holdings) shareholders with holdings of 125 shares or more received their passes or complimentary tickets. A letter from managing director Helen Smith also announced a shareholder review, following the commitment made at last year’s AGM (see October 2021’s Branch Lines.)
Shareholders, regardless of the level of their holdings, will be able to engage in the first stage by participating in an online survey that will take place this month (April). Details of how shareholders can access the survey will be sent by post. It is important that shareholders engage with this initial research if they want to be included in the review.
Following the survey, a selection of shareholders who have participated in the survey will be invited to a focus group, with two workshop sessions to be convened in May.
SVR (Holdings) has appointed Durnin Research Limited to conduct this as an independent review. The key findings from the research will be presented at the AGM on 11th June, 2022.
Helen explained: “This review is being set up to obtain the views of all shareholders on their engagement with the Railway. It will also examine the value placed on shareholder entitlements, both currently and in the future, all in the context of the sustainable future of the Railway. It will capture evidence from, and the perspectives of, the whole of the SVR shareholding community.”
We reported back after the 2022 AGM in July: Branchlines - July 2022
Report from SVR (Holdings) AGM
The Annual General Meeting for shareholders of SVR (Holdings) Plc took place at St George’s Hall, Bewdley on Saturday 11th June.
Chairman Mike Ball welcomed everyone, and started by paying tribute to his predecessor Nick Paul CBE, before introducing members of the board.
Mike spoke about the particular difficulties that 2020 and 2021 had brought to the SVR, with Covid lockdowns and social restrictions.
Passenger numbers were significantly reduced, and there was growing pressure on disposable incomes, plus recruitment problems especially in the hospitality sector.
Mike went on to say, “Just as our expectations for 2022 were heightened, further challenges quickly surfaced. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24th almost immediately saw the availability of coal supplies virtually disappear. Not only that but where supplies could be found the cost had trebled.”
Fortunately, 2022 has also brought much to celebrate, including a record attendance for the Spring Steam Gala, and a ‘fantastic array of traction’ for the Diesel Gala. There was the excitement of running in and testing contracts for Britannia and Sir Nigel Gresley, along with contract work for Bayer. National recognition for the SVR came in early June with the VisitEngland Bronze Award for Excellence in Resilience and Innovation.
Shareholders voted to approve the minutes of the 2021 AGM, re-elected Chris Thomas, Peter Pearson and Graeme Bunker-James as directors, received and adopted the financial statements for the year ending 3rd January 2022 and re-appointed Crowe UK LLP as auditors. They also voted, as required annually, to approve the limits on retaining share capital of £14 million.
Managing director Helen Smith gave her review of the year, including the SVR’s achievements, and assessing the challenges it faces. Head of finance Louise Whitehouse gave a finance update, then consultant Jonathan Durnin outlined the initial findings of the recent independent shareholder review.
The review highlighted the importance of improving the relationship between the Railway and the shareholding community. Recommendations from the review included the production of a shareholders’ handbook, implementing photo ID, and taking an evidence-based approach to managing key event capacity. The review found that most shareholders invested in the Railway to support it, but that benefits were important. A full report is being produced, and the board will share the findings and recommendations with shareholders in due course, and report back on progress by the end of this year.