A COACH firm with an annual turnover of £20m and a 300-strong workforce has been crowned Large Business of the Year.
But Lucketts Travel Group, which has been in business for nearly 90 years, still prides itself on being family-run and having a big heart for its staff and customers.
The Fareham organisation is led by brothers Ian and Steve Luckett.
Ian said: ‘We still can’t believe we are a big business.
‘We see the business grow on a daily basis. We see the challenges every day and it still takes us by surprise when we take a step back and realise how big it is.
‘We still try to see it as a family network.
‘We have expanded quite considerably in the last five years and it’s been challenging to still keep that family feel.
‘Mark Hoban (the MP for Fareham) told us we are the biggest private employer in Fareham.’
The company is part of the government’s growth accelerator scheme, which provides funding to ambitious firms so they can hire consultants to train employees.
And Ian said it has made a big difference and challenged workers to keep up their top standards.
‘The business coaches are pretty senior people with a lot of experience in business, particularly in growing business,’ Ian said.
Speaking of the company’s success on the night of The News Business Excellence Awards, Ian said: ‘We are really proud and it came as a bit of a shock.
He added: ‘It’s lovely to win this award and it’s a real reward for everyone and all the staff.
‘We continue to make sure customers get what they want and are provided with safe, efficient travel. Our industry is very well legislated, but not necessarily very well regulated, and one of the things we focus on is best practice.’