Company name


What town/city are you based in?
Wigton, Cumbria

Number of generations
3rd generation

Passenger transport (bus, coach, holidays)

Number of employees


Tell us about your family business (What you do, how you started, who’s involved etc)
Reays operates one of the largest fleets of luxury coaches in the North of England, with clients ranging from private hire individuals to Burnley FC of the Premier League. We also run the award-winning City Hopper public bus network in Carlisle and the official on-site staff transport at West Cumbria’s Sellafield plant as well as public and school bus services throughout Cumbria. We operate our own holiday business too, with trips throughout Europe and the UK and dozens of day breaks and coach-and-ticket deals to major sports and music events.

What’s your proudest moment/biggest achievement as a family business?
Managing director Chris Reay says his proudest moment came at the London Hilton Hotel on Park Lane in November 2011 when Reays was named Top Independent Operator at the UK Bus Awards. It was an incredibly emotional moment and one that Chris said he shared with his late father Walter, who had founded the company in 1985.
Chris is incredibly proud of the company’s growth and success over the last three decades but he insists his greatest achievement is yet to come.

What do you love about being a family business?
There are two main distinct elements to this:
1 – Being able to move fast and make decisions quickly (often crucial in the transport business) and independently with family members and other implicitly trusted senior staff without delays which can be caused by involving shareholders, executives and countless meetings.
2 – Fostering a positive feelgood family atmosphere within our working environment and among our employees, who include several cross -generation relatives of MD Chris Reay and his finance director wife Nicola – with the prospect of their three daughters joining full-time in the not-too-distant future.