A PRIVATE investor has stepped in to secure the future of a family coach firm and 25 local jobs.
Drivers, mechanics and office staff are celebrating after learning their jobs are safe with coach and bus operator A C Williams of Ancaster.
The firm was established nearly 60 years ago and despite a healthy demand for bookings, its future was threatened following the closure of its sister business in December, the A C Williams Renault car dealership. Customers who made bookings for future trips and holidays can relax as deposits will be safe and trips will take place as planned.
The company, which numbers Harlaxton College, The Red Arrows and football clubs Lincoln City and Boston United among its regular customers, has received a cash and management injection from investor Glen Pratt, who wants to save jobs by turning round small family-owned companies. He has plans to build the business through employee profit sharing and the partnership principles which have proved so successful for John Lewis.
As executive chairman of the company, Glen Pratt, 39, a successful investment fund manager in London, will be keeping the family name, but also former directors David Williams and Alison Parker will fulfill non-managerial roles within the company. Glen’s brother David join the board as finance director.
The firm’s first contract was transporting three children from a local farm to Ancaster Primary School. Now the company transports 500 school children every day. It also runs many leisure trips and holidays for local people, travelling throughout the UK and Europe, as well as providing transport for local businesses, football teams, service personnel and academic institutions in a fleet of 20 buses, coaches and minibuses.
Glen Pratt said: “It’s a company with a strong heart and has been picking up new work even during the administration period.”