A FATHER and son have proved there is life after redundancy by setting up their own chauffeuring and bodyguard service.
Andrew Collier, 36, and dad Bill 63, have founded North East Executive Travel, which provides a luxury travel, chauffeurs and a bodyguard service.
The venture, based at Old Shotton in Peterlee, comes after the pair were both axed from their jobs because of cuts.
Bill, who is married to Joan, had worked in Durham County Council’s street lighting department for about a decade.
Andrew worked as a sales director for Trader Media, running a sales team for the Irish version of car sales magazine and website Auto Trader, also for around a decade.
The redundancies came within four months of each other – Andrew’s in April and Bill’s last Christmas.
Andrew said: “My father was in a decent position as he didn’t have a mortgage, and my mum was still working. For him to have all this time just sitting around the house, I think that bothered him more than the financial implications.
“Whereas with me, I went from earning a decent wage and having a decent lifestyle to having to change the way I spent and what I did.”
The Peterlee pair bought a nine-seater Mercedes minibus with a TV and reclining leather seats and a Mercedes car.
Now they are offering a service to executive clients, largely targeting company airport runs and business visitors from overseas.
Andrew, who is dad to six-year-old Mae, added: “At the time, redundancy was nerve-wracking and heartbreaking, but we managed to pull together. We are now in business together, doing something we can see that could be a great thing for us both in the longer term.”
The firm is also taking on a third driver, to drive a Skoda Octavia for private hire.