Rochdale team3

First Manchester completes management team for launch of Rochdale depot

First Bus in Manchester has strengthened the management team for its Rochdale depot as it prepares to join the Bee Network in March.

Kevin Mullin has been appointed Social Value Manager, a new role in First Bus. He joins from Kier Construction, where he spent two years as CSR Manager for the Northwest region leading on social value input to public sector contracts valued at over £300m.

A former teacher, Kevin switched from education into developing employer partnerships in careers and skills development at schools and colleges across Greater Manchester at Greater Manchester Combined Authority before moving into industry.

He said: “This is a really exciting opportunity to help educate colleagues and raise awareness of the important role they play in creating social impact in our communities. People might not know what social value means but when its explained many realise that it’s something they have been involved with.

“This is part of the induction with new drivers too and there is a lot of interest in understanding how they can contribute to our support for the community.”

The new Engineering Manager for the depot is Iain Malone, who trained in the Army in the REME, Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers and served for 15 years. Following his military career he first worked in the waste and recycling industry, managing teams dealing with plant and equipment repairs. Iain joins from WEC Group, a specialist fabrication and engineering supplier to key industries.

He said he’s looking forward to returning to where he began, in vehicle maintenance and repair. “We’re focused on delivering a public service to the community and encouraging more people to use the bus,” added Iain. “The new engineering facilities planned at the depot will create an excellent environment for the team to support this.”  

Mike McGowan is the third member of the management support team. He originally joined First Bus 20 years ago as a driver and returned to the company in 2009, developing though supervisor roles to become a staff manager at the Oldham depot.  He has now been promoted to Operations Manager at Rochdale.

“This is an amazing time for me to be part of a new future with First Manchester. To be involved from the start in getting the depot ready for the latest phase in the Bee Network is a great challenge and we’ll be ready to deliver for customers,” said Mike.

Iain and Mike will help lead the depot engineering and operations teams managing a fleet of more than 60 buses and more than 100 drivers.

Picture captions:

Rochdale team1: (L-r) Mike McGowan, Iain Malone and Kevin Mullin.

Rochdale team2&3: (L-r) Mike McGowan, Kevin Mullin and Iain Malone.


Notes to editors

About First Bus

At First Bus, we are on a mission to grow bus usage. We will get behind initiatives that move people out of cars and onto bus.  

We are one of the UK’s largest bus operators, delivering over a million passenger journeys every day for the communities we serve.  

Transforming our business for the better, we are putting our people and customers at the heart of all we do.  

We are all about making journeys easier for our customers, which is why we were the first national bus operator to rollout Tap On, Tap Off payment technology across our entire UK fleet of 4500 buses. Our First Bus app has also been voted ‘best in class’ amongst UK bus operators.  

First Bus is committed to operating a zero-emission bus fleet by 2035. By March 2024, 15% of our will fleet will comprise Zero Emission Buses (ZEBs).  

We are passionate about giving back to the communities we serve, which is why we are helping local businesses to progress their own decarbonisation journeys with access to our charging hubs while our buses are on the road. 

We also operate the Aircoach network in Ireland, Specialist Passenger Solutions, First Travel Solutions and Ensignbus.  

First Bus is a division of FirstGroup.    Find more information on First Bus here: