Belle Vue Company History
Remembering the old Belle Vue Manchester.
The Company, Belle Vue (Manchester) Ltd originally world famous
for pleasure rides including 'The Bobs' and the beautiful
zoological gardens, is now one of Manchester's leading brands
in Fun packed Coach Tours. Based on the theme of a fun packed
day out from the old Belle Vue, the new Belle Vue is gearing
towards fun packed excursions and holidays for everyone. From a
variety of coach tours from our group excursion brochure,
visits to fun filled theme parks for the kids, to door to door
coach tour holidays for senior citizens! We provide a
comprehensive professional service that ensures all our
passengers receive a fantastic experience. We also provide a
range of private and corporate coach hire services across
Manchester, the North West, the UK and Europe.
The original company started trading in 1925 and became the
country's leading pleasure park. With a vast site featuring
pleasure rides, zoo, circus, dance halls, wrestling, boxing,
roller skating, bowling, bingo, speedway, stock cars, greyhound
racing, a lake and beautiful gardens to name just some of the
The memories of the original Belle Vue still linger in the
minds of those fortunate enough to have experienced the
pleasure of such an outstanding theme park. The company was
broken up into sections and sold off in the seventies. The
original site was sold for redevelopment. Today the site hosts
a bingo hall, cinema complex, a private housing estate and a
vehicle auction centre.
You can view videos of the old Belle Vue Manchester here:
Belle Vue Tribute - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ofr5jcl1Vnc
Belle Vue Zoo - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rbd3xarG0k
Belle Vue Memories - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJBdWyjscdk
The Start of the new Belle Vue (Manchester) Ltd.
Opposite the site of the old speed way track (now vehicle
auctions) is where the new Belle Vue was first incorporated.
The business has developed consistent growth from 1992 to the
present day. The company was formed in 1993 by the present
directors. The company was formed when Philip Hitchen (Managing
Director) had a burning desire to bring an Executive Taxi
(Private Hire Car) service to the city of Manchester. Philip
Hitchen joined Ian Braggs company Belle Vue Cars in December
1992 and he started to expand the business quite successfully
in a short period of time. Philip Hitchen then purchased the
business of Mount Road Cars and joined forces with Ian Bragg in
1993 and merged the two companies of Belle Vue Cars and Mount
Road Cars and made the company into one of Manchesters leading
private hire car company's. The Company rapidly built up a
client base of hundreds of blue-chip companies. With uniformed
professional drivers and quality executive cars, the companys
growth soon started to materialise.
The company changed its name from 'Belle Vue Cars' to
'Belle Vue (Manchester) Ltd' and restructured to a Limited
Company in 1996 and the company expanded into the PCV minibus
and coach market in 1997 through the direction of Ian Bragg.
Belle Vue also acquired the purchase of VIP Cars, a local
private hire company to expand its local customer base.
The purchase of Griffiths Coaches - Hyde.
In 1997 Belle Vue expanded into the pcv coach business, which
saw rapid growth between 1997 and 1999. In 1998 Belle Vue
purchased Griffiths Coaches of Hyde, Cheshire.
In 1999 a Chauffeur Driven Car & Limousine department was
expanded with a fleet of Mercedes, Jaguars, Rolls Royces &
American Stretch Limousines. Belle Vue was now highly geared to
serving the corporate client. With this in mind the taxi side
of the business was sold in 1999 and the company reinvested in
its coach fleet by purchasing a number of Executive Coaches.
With a fleet of new minibuses and quality coaches the company
had a diverse fleet of executive vehicles. At the turn of the
Millennium the company expanded it's services into Coach Tours
& Holidays. With a variety of day excursions, Weekend
Breaks & Holidays, the company rapidly built a reputation
for value for money holidays! A classic example of this is door
to door holidays, especially favoured by our senior
Recruitment of Kenny Walsh.
In 2001 Belle Vue installed it's own Maintenance & Service
Division, managed by Kenny Walsh. With enthusiasm and
dedication Kenny has proven to be a valuable player in the
Belle Vue management team and has since been promoted to
Maintenance Director in 2009.
With coach tour operations in 2002 expanding to France,
Germany, Belgium, Holland and Switzerland the company's desire
to conquer new shores travelled on. With commitment to training
and reinvestment in the fleet the consistent growth of the
Company was assured. Belle Vue played a major part in the
transportation of the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games.
The start of the Yellow School Bus Service.
In 2003 Belle Vue pioneered a new Yellow School Bus Scheme in
conjunction with the GMPTE. Belle Vue have been working
diligently in providing transport solutions for home to school
travel resulting in less rush hour madness and poor antisocial
behaviour on the school buses. All students are committed to
behaving in an acceptable fashion and our Yellow Bus Scheme is
proving to be a relaxed and reliable means of Transport. We
currently operate Contracts right across the City in Tameside,
Stockport, Trafford and Manchester and we are pleased to
offer our brand new fleet of Yellow School Buses for Hire and
Reward for all School, College and University based
New purpose built Maintenance Facilities.
2004 saw Belle Vue sustain major growth in all areas of the
business. The coach fleet was expanded with quality vehicles
and Belle Vues policy of staff training and fleet reinvestment
saw major returns in the quality of service that the Company
provided. Many major contracts in the education sectors of the
business were expanded and Belle Vue also expanded into Stage
Carriage Bus Services. Belle Vue also recruited and quality
approved many other coach suppliers throughout the Northwest to
ensure the range of services was extended beyond the existing
fleets capacity. The Maintenance Department was also expanded
as a new site was secured and new garage facilities were
purpose built to ensure the future development of our fleet
In 2005 Belle Vue had already developed a high reputation as a
quality coach tour holiday provider over the previous five
years. With many senior citizens relying on our door to door
holiday service and the personal care and attention of our
Office Staff and Tour Managers, the expansion of this
department was continuous. Belle Vue put three senior managers
through CPC Courses (Certificate of Professional Competence) in
2005 ensuring that the Industrys professional coach management
requirements were installed right throughout our Company. This
included the Transport and Sales Offices, the Accounts Office
and also our Maintenance Department which was rapidly
becoming a major contractor of vehicle inspections and
maintenance services to other operators.
The purchase of County Coaches, Stockport and the relocation of
Belle Vue to Discovery Park.
In August 2005, Belle Vue expanded its Wheel Chair Accessible
Coach Service by purchasing 5 wheel chair accessible coaches,
one standard coach and the private hire client base of County
Coaches Ltd who were based at Stockport. The Directors from
County Coaches had decided to retire and a deal was struck by
Belle Vue, which ensured Belle Vue would continue to provide a
professional and comprehensive wheel chair accessible coach
service to the client base of County Coaches. Belle Vue
recruited some of the driver team that provide a quality
service. At the end of September after the County business had
been incorporated into the Belle Vue system, Belle Vue
relocated to the former premises of County Coaches. With other
expanding travel services the new premises could accommodate
the projected growth plans of the business in the coming
future. The new operating centre would create improved customer
services in our bus and coach operations, our door- to-door
holidays and our maintenance inspection services.
The purchase of Lambeth Coaches, Stockport.
In 2009 Belle Vue acquired the business of Lambeth Coaches Ltd
of Reddish, Stockport. Having traded for 35 years the owners
decided to retire amidst growing competition in a competitive
market place. Belle Vue had been a major competitor to Lambeth
in the late 90s and early 00s and the acquisition resulted in
the loss of a local operator. Belle Vue took only three
vehicles and two staff from the business and acquired the
customer base to expand further.
The purchase of Freshfield Coaches, Stockport.
In 2011 Belle Vue acquired the business known as Freshfield
Coaches based in Bredbury, Stockport. Having run a fleet of 8
vehicles Belle Vue took over the business, whilst the owner
sold the assets and retired to Cyprus. THe mix of clientele
mixed well with the Belle Vue profile and gave the company a
great opportunity to expand our school clientbase.
The purchase of Kings Minibuses, Dukinfield.
In 2011 Belle Vue also acquired Kings Minibuses, a small coach
operator based in Dukinfield. Kings had some useful school
contracts that mixed well with the Belle Vue profile. One of
these contracts was Manchester Grammer School.
8 Brand New Hybrid School Buses arrive in April 2012.
In 2011, the company was experiencing considerable growth with
sales up 50% from acquisitions of local operators and also
increased school contracts awarded from TfGM. This included 8
new contracts that were serviced by 8 brand new Optare Hybrid
vehicles. Whilst there was a delay in production of these
vehicles, Belle Vue provided 8 spare school buses that created
further opporunity whilst the Optare vehicles were being
manufactured. The vehicles finally arrived in April 2012. From
September 2011 to January 2012 Belle Vue had increased sales by
50% taking the fleet total from 34 vehicles to 53 and revenues
from £1.8M to £3.5M.
ISO9001 Quality Status Awarded August 2012.
In August 2012, Belle Vue were awarded the ISO9001 quality kite
mark, the highest standard of quality recognised in Europe.
Although there are standards within the industry, Belle Vue did
not think our clients would recognise these or relate to them,
so the director decided to go for the ISO9001 status which is
universally recognised all over Europe. This made considerable
improvements to our ethos of good customer service, quality
systems across the company, improved complaints procedures and
Belle Vue Today.
Belle Vue are currently focusing on improving communications
across the team with further education of the language of IMA.
We are also increasing the quality of the CPC Driver Training,
as well as putting our transport team through NVQ courses.
Belle Vue see quality inhouse training as the way forward to
create ongoing improvements to our services and expansion.
Watch this space.