Coach firm boss is the new sher­iff in town...

Western Mail - - BUSINESS IN WALES -

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.

Liz Pearce

> Ja­son Ed­wards in the bus de­pot at Llantwit Fardre, Pon­typridd

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