A bus firm has been named the north’s best family business at an awards event.
Inverness firm D and E Coaches scooped the Highlands and Islands Business Awards accolade as it made a £500,000 investment in two new luxury coaches, which will arrive next week.
The north’s largest coach hire company has followed up a £2 million spending drive on 12 new coaches six months ago with the latest investment, to help it cope with a busy forward order book.
Managing director Donald Mathieson said: “Being selected by a judging panel is immensely satisfying and shows how far we’ve come.
“We now employ 85 people and transport almost a million people a year – which is a far cry from 23 years ago when I started with a minibus bought with £1,000 given by my father.”
The region’s major football teams will benefit from the latest investment.
Mr Mathieson added: “This has proved a highly successful year and we believe in continual investment to refresh our fleet.
“The Mercedes coaches will be in operation for the Christmas rush in private hires, and their arrival will take us up to 65 coaches.
“Our long-standing customers Caley Thistle and Ross County will benefit from being given the use of the new coaches for their away matches.”
Donald and his wife Elizabeth, a nurse, initially ran the business from the family home in Drumossie Avenue, Inverness.