Big Lemon gets bigger with Seaford acquisition

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Following on from the creation of Brighton Horizon Coaches last year, the Big Lemon has increased its presence in the area again with the addition of Seaford & District

The Founder and Managing Director of Seaford & District Motor Services has taken a step towards retirement with the sale of the company to The Big Lemon.

David Mulpeter, who started the company in 2010 and built up the operation to include bus and coach services, engineering, sightseeing and heritage buses, took his first step towards retirement last August with the sale of the coach operation which, together with The Big Lemon’s own coach operation, created Brighton Horizon Coaches. Shortly before Christmas, David took another step towards retirement, agreeing on the sale of Seaford and District to The Big Lemon. New owners Tom Druitt and Ryan Wrotny took control at midday on Saturday 9 January.

David has retained the Eastbourne Sightseeing and Heritage fleets, which will now operate under his smaller new business Seven Sisters Bus and Coach.

In a heartfelt message to staff, David said: “Seaford & District was created by me 10 years ago and has grown steadily over this time, which I am very proud of, and has a good reputation. The business needs continual energy to enable it to grow further which I feel I can no longer do. I would like to thank each and every one of you for helping in the building of the business and know that under the guidance and energy of Tom and Ryan it will continue to do so.“

Seaford & District will maintain a separate identity and The Big Lemon’s Coach Manager, Ryan Wrotny, will take on the day to day management as Managing Director of Seaford & District and Brighton Horizon Coaches. As Group CEO, The Big Lemon founder Tom Druitt will look at how the different companies can work together to share best practice and improve services across Sussex.

In a joint letter to Seaford & District staff, Tom and Ryan said: “We are excited and delighted to have been given this opportunity by Dave Mulpeter to work with you all to take Seaford & District Motor Services through the next stage of its journey.

“We have worked closely with Dave for a number of years and he has been a real pleasure to work with, always willing to do whatever he can to help another operator out. And it’s clear that these values are shared by the whole company. We have both been inspired by Dave’s work and impressed by the growth of Seaford & District, and the quality of the services Seaford provides. Our shared values led to us joining forces last summer to create Brighton Horizon Coaches from the coach operations of Seaford & District and The Big Lemon.

“It’s a great honour to be given the opportunity to take Seaford & District forward and we are really looking forward to working with you all. The team spirit at Seaford is clearly very strong, the fleet is smart and well-respected and there is a huge amount of potential to grow the business further and improve bus services for the wider community in Sussex.

“Ryan will take on the day to day management of Seaford & District as Managing Director and Transport Manager, working closely with the whole team alongside the same role at Brighton Horizon Coaches. The two companies will maintain separate identities but will support each other by working together when they can.

“Tom will take a keen interest in the longer term development of the company and is especially interested in how Seaford & District, Brighton Horizon and The Big Lemon can work together to offer better transport options across Sussex.

“Tom and Ryan will work closely together as co-directors  to ensure the long-term health of the business, the wellbeing of the whole team and the quality of service we provide to our passengers. Seaford & District has a fantastic reputation in the industry and we are keen to build on that and are looking forward to working with you all to take the business to the next level.

“We are very grateful to Dave and to all of you for this opportunity and are looking forward to getting stuck in.”

The Big Lemon’s Tom Druitt and Ryan Wrotny have acquired Seaford & District from owner David Mulpeter as he scales back his workload approaching retirement. THE BIG LEMON