Wednesday, July 25, 2018

News: Rotherham bus company acquired by social enterprise


HCT Group has completed its first commercial acquisition, purchasing Rotherham's Powells Bus for an undisclosed sum.

With a depot at Hellaby, Powells Bus Company Ltd is a family run bus service which operates local bus services, school buses and private hire services in the Rotherham and Doncaster areas. Founded in 1996, it has a fleet of approximately 30 vehicles.

HCT Group started out as Hackney Community Transport in 1982 when around 30 local community groups in the London Borough of Hackney pooled their vehicle resources. A new business model was launched in the 1990s based on social impact and a commercial focus has seen the group expand to merge with other community transport providers across the UK.

Dai Powell, chief executive of HCT Group, said: "We have been working in Yorkshire as CT Plus since 2004 and are looking to expand our operations.

"We have been looking for three things in our first acquisition. The first was a business that was a good match for our own in terms of services operated. The second was a business where there were significant opportunities for growth. The third is arguably the most important – we believe that local services have a real social impact for communities and we sought out an operator that felt the same way.

"We think that this acquisition is a sign of things to come for HCT Group. A social enterprise buying a commercial operator – with a view to turning it into a social enterprise – is a great way of providing public services for public benefit."


Ian Powell, of Powells Bus, added: "HCT Group have the resources and expertise to help take Powells Bus to the next level – pursuing new opportunities and growing the organisation."

Jane Powell, of Powells Bus, said: "HCT Group really understands the ethos we have built here at Powells. They have a genuine track record of providing local services in the communities where they work – and, like us, they know what our services mean to the people that use them; that they are vital lifelines."

HCT Group said that it has plans to grow the business and that no jobs are at risk from the move.

With a turnover of £202k in 1993, HCT Group is now a large scale social enterprise with 1,200 employees, more than a dozen depots spread across London, Yorkshire, the Southwest, the Northwest and the Channel Islands, a fleet of 625 vehicles and a 2016/17 turnover of £49.6m.

Powells Bus website
HCT Group website

Images: Powells Bus


M Benson,  July 3, 2019 at 10:48 PM  

Let's hope this is successful - as the area cannot afford to lose the services operated by Powells.

Anonymous,  June 25, 2022 at 12:04 AM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous,  August 4, 2022 at 5:38 PM  

How things have changed now that HCT Group have announced closure of its Yorkshire operations.

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