Friday, 9 September 2022

Shuttle Buses Sold - To Its Own Staff.

Shuttle Buses, who are based in Kilwinning, have now become employee owned,with all 70 of its staff being given a stake.

The company has 60 vehicles which it uses to run both commercial and subsidised bus services across Ayrshire.

This includes more than 20 school contracts right across the county, and 12 vehicles which work under contract to Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) on the MyBus network.

The company also provides contract services for ScotRail, Caledonian MacBrayne, Ayrshire College and Wellington School, amongst others.

The decision to sell up to its current employees comes as the company's managing director David Granger starts to put plans in place for retirement.

By selling to staff rather than a trade sale, Mr Granger - who will remain a director of the company as well as its chairman - says he hopes to better maintain the ethos and culture of the company whilst anchoring it in the local community.

Mr Granger said: “Having considered various exit strategies, it was clear that employee ownership was the best way forward for both me and the business.

"We have a great workforce, some of whom have been with the company for almost as long as I have, and safeguarding their future was equally important to me as my own.

“Despite having grown to 70 employees we have managed to retain much of the ethos of a family company; my son and youngest daughter both work here and I think a trade sale could have been disastrous for both them and our other employees.

"Employee ownership gave me a tax-efficient exit, yet retaining both a role and a shareholding in the business, whilst passing on the role of managing director to my son.”

Shuttle Buses now adds to the growing number of employee owned businesses in Scotland, something Clare Alexander, head of Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS), says she is happy to see.

CDS is the only dedicated service in Scotland aimed at supporting business growth through more employee ownership and co-operative business models.

She said: “It’s wonderful to see a company like Shuttle Buses embracing employee ownership.

"Adopting this business model is a great way to preserve the company’s culture even after the original founder retires – something that’s especially important when that company is providing vital lifeline services to the local community."