Coach firm boss is the new sheriff in town...
THE boss of one of the UK’s most successful coach companies has been confirmed as High Sheriff of Mid Glamorgan for 2020.
Jason Edwards, managing diector of Edwards Coaches, will hold the largely cermonial role for a year.
Church Village-born and educated locally in Gwauncelyn and Bryn Celynnog schools, Mr Edwards is the fifth generation of the family at the helm of the business, which has its head offices in Llantwit Fardre.
He started work at the business as a 10-year-old cleaning the school buses at weekends for pocket money.
At 17 he became a mechanical aircraft engineering apprentice with the British Airways engine overhaul site at Caerphilly, which was later taken over by General Electric.
After working for GE for more than 13 years, Mr Edwards then changed direction and once again became involved with the family business.
Mr Edwards said: “I am extremely humbled and honoured to be thought of in such high circles.
“Over the years I have had to work extremely hard to get where I am today, but I’ve always been very grateful for the support around me.
“I really am a local rugby club lad whose feet are firmly on the floor.
“The nomination is a truly exciting opportunity that I’m respectfully looking forward too and hopefully I can engage with the local communities and make that little bit of difference during my time as High Sheriff of Mid Glamorgan.’
Edwards Coaches operates from depots across south Wales, from Pembroke Dock to Newport, and has recently expanded with a new depot in Bristol.
In total, it operates a fleet of 310 coaches daily and employs 700 staff across its network of nine depots and seven travel shops.
The business, wihch is the largest independent coach operator in Wales and one of the biggest in the UK, recently secured a £11.4m funding package from Santander Corporate & Commercial to support its expansion plans.
The finance will support the recent purchase of its Avonmouth depot and enable 40 coaches to be added to its existing fleet.
It will also fund the recruitment of 110 new employees across the business.
Established in 1925, Edwards Coaches is also a successful holiday operator.
And the business – which in its last financial year to the end of March, 2016 generated revenues of £35.2m – recently won the National Express Bristol and Bath contract, which covers routes to London through the West Country and airport transfers.
> Jason Edwards in the bus depot at Llantwit Fardre, Pontypridd