Appleby's Coach Holidays to be relaunched under new name by Lincolnshire businessman
APPLEBY'S Coach Holidays, which closed last month after its parent company went into administration, is to be relaunched under a new name.
Local businessman Robert McQuillan has bought the Conisholme coach operator's office equipment from the administrators and will be registering a new company with Companies House within a week.
Although the name will be subtly different, Mr McQuillan said the Appleby's title would survive.
He is hoping to start taking bookings again by early next year.
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Mr McQuillan announced his intention to save the stricken firm a day after its owner, Bowen Travel Group, went into administration.
But he said that because of the company's high staffing levels, unfavourable lease terms on its fleet of coaches and other problems within the business, it was better to start a new company from scratch.
Mr McQuillan, who owns Appleby's Ices, which until 2000 was part of the same company as the coach operator, said: "Picking up the pieces of the old company was going to be too difficult.
"The only way to succeed is to wipe the table clean and start again."
Mr McQuillan said Appleby's had now been wound-up and the remaining skeleton staff all made redundant.
He added: "The company was overstaffed and the buses they had were on lease – the outstanding amount was worth more than the buses. We are going to start a new limited company with our own buses."
He said he would not be looking to take on the five Appleby's travel shops including those in Spilsby, Horncastle and Louth, because of the high running costs.
Appleby's Coach Holidays was founded by William Appleby in 1913, the same year he established Appleby's Ices.
The company split in 2000 when the coach firm went into receivership and was sold to the Bowen Travel Group.
Now the two companies look set to be reunited under the ownership of Mr McQuillan, who bought the ice cream company in 2009.
He added: "Under the right management I believe this business can thrive, and hopefully by next July we will have two companies celebrating their 100th birthdays."