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Derbyshire Community Transport now independent

Derbyshire Community Transport joined HCT Group in April 2018, seeking support as they faced a perilous future. In under two years, we have helped DCT to turn its fortunes around – and it can now stand on its own two feet.

Posted: 29 Jan 2020

In early 2018, Community Transport for Town and Country (CT4TC), a Derbyshire-based community transport operator, approached HCT Group. They had begun the journey from traditional grant-funding to social enterprise, but were struggling both financially and operationally, leaving the future looking bleak.

CT4TC joined HCT Group in April 2018, rebranding as Derbyshire Community Transport (DCT) one month later. Their aim was to access the finance, business expertise and operational support available from the wider Group – essential if they were to continue providing their vital community services.

Since then, colleagues from across the Group – and the whole staff team in Derbyshire – have worked tirelessly to put the operation there on a sustainable footing. DCT retained its independent board and the organisation is now strong enough for them to retake control. HCT Group will step away from 24 January 2020.

HCT Group will still be providing assistance to DCT through the Future Journeys programme – a support programme that combines practical support from HCT Group and funding provided by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and the Foundation for Integrated Transport. The support from Future Journeys will assist DCT as it develops as an independent social enterprise.

“It has taken a singular effort and a great deal of resource to reach this point. It’s been a real team effort” said Dai Powell, HCT Group Chief Executive.

“We understood the level of difficulty facing DCT when we took on this challenge, but felt strongly it was worth every possible effort to preserve the positive social impact they have as an organisation.  We have achieved our goals here and it’s now time to step back. I wish the Board of DCT and all the staff and stakeholders the very best.  

“Even as we could say ‘our work here is done’, I’m delighted that our association will continue, as DCT are now participants on our Future Journeys programme.”

Michael Usherwood, Chair of Trustees for DCT said “We have enjoyed an excellent relationship within the HCT Group, who have generously offered guidance, expertise and financial support.  Looking forward, we are confident of a sustainable future as a local Derbyshire charity again, supporting all our service users and employing many local folk.”