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 attractions.

 

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 citizens.

 

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 Transportation.

 

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 maintenance program.

 

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 team morale.

 

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.

 

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Belle Vue (Manchester) Ltd, The Travel Centre, Discovery Park, Crossley Road, Stockport, SK4 5DZ
Tel:  0161 947 9477
Registered in England No. 3272014

Belle Vue (Manchester) Ltd, The Travel Centre, Discovery Park, Crossley Road, Stockport SK4 5DZ. Tel: 0161 947 9477

Registered in England No. 3272014