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September 27 2017
By Mel Holley

Mel was routeONE magazine’s Editor until autumn 2018. He has more than 30 years’ experience in road and rail transport journalism.

Manchester Community Transport in
talks to join HCT Group

HCT Group is in final-stage talks with fellow social enterprise bus operator Manchester Community Transport (MCT), with a view to MCT joining the Group.

MCT aims to make its operations ‘more financially sustainable’ over the long term

By joining the Group, MCT aims to make its operations “more financially sustainable over the long term, safeguarding the invaluable services that it provides.” It will also be able to “better access investment and the wide range of operational and business expertise of HCT Group.”

UK’s 10th largest

HCT Group is the UK’s 10th largest operator and one of the UK’s biggest and most successful social enterprises. It runs buses and other transport contracts in London, Bristol, Yorkshire and the Channel Islands, with 1,200 staff and 625 vehicles.

It reinvests the money it makes from contracts back into community transport in the areas where they work.

MCT has been serving Manchester since 1980. It provides community transport services across the area as well as Transport for Greater Manchester contracted bus services, with 109 employees and 67 vehicles.

Announcing the talks, HCT Group Chief Executive Dai Powell says: “We are delighted to welcome a community transport provider of such renown into the Group. We believe that we can help MCT really achieve its potential, growing the organisation and increasing services. 

“Making a positive social impact where we work is our reason for being, so a tie-up with a community transport provider that has its finger on the pulse of what’s needed in Manchester is great news.”

Advanced stage

Talks for the merger are at an advanced stage and both parties are confident an agreement will be reached in the near term. As the tie-up aims to support MCT with its plans for growth, it will see MCT maintain all of its current services, with no jobs under threat. 

Commenting on the talks, Nigel McKinney, Managing Director of MCT said “By joining one of the largest and most successful social enterprises in the UK, we have the opportunity to expand our services and build on our track record of delivering for the community in Manchester. It makes sense for us to partner with a likeminded organisation such as HCT Group, who share our values and who are committed to improve transport for all.”

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