Established in 1980 as Wythenshawe Mobile with the support of Urban Aid Funding, we set out to provide accessible transport solutions to the local communities of South Manchester, registering as a Society in 1982. For many years, the number of people using our services continued to grow, with our services adapting to the needs of our users and, thanks to grant funding from the local authority, stayed affordable.
By the start of the 21st century, things began to change at a significant pace for non-profit organisations. For us, like many, this meant that funding was beginning to dry up and public grants were being withdrawn. Whilst this was daunting; an uncertain future with no guarantee of being able to sustain our services, it was also an opportunity. We had to become self-sufficient, to use our skills and experience to begin delivering commercial services. This is how we deliver our Community Transport - using the surplus we generate from commercial work to subsidise what the grants used to!
Our services expanded out to East Manchester, prompting us to rethink our image. In 2005, we changed our name to Manchester Community Transport, reflecting the wider community we supported. Since then, we began delivering services in Trafford, taking on the work and commitments of PACT when they were dissolved, moving across to Stockport and increasing the work we delivered there. Tameside and Salford followed with Oldham and Rochdale next; by becoming sustainable, we were able to offer our services in areas where there were gaps.
By 2013, we had grown, achieving the following:
- The largest, non-publicly funded, Community Transport operator in Greater Manchester,
- Third largest operator of Bus Services on behalf of TfGM,
- Delivering training commercially,
- Supporting other non-profits with their fleet maintenance.
As proud as we are of our heritage, we’re always looking to the future. Today, this is the true key to success for any business – being able to predict trends and anticipate change. Over the last 30 years, we’ve seen a transition within the third sector; from a reliance on grants to driving up standards of business and broadening our commercial offerings. This is where we have excelled, keeping true to our non-profit community values but running as efficiently and effectively as our commercial counterparts.
To allow us to achieve this as effectively as possible, we operate under three brands: