Let’s B Positive!

Some Cheerful Business News for Norfolk
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10,000 More Seats Added to Norwich Airport Winter Flights

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Holiday giant TUI has launched 10 and 11-night holiday packages from Norwich Airport to Tenerife for the winter of 2020, creating an extra 10,000 seats for the seasonal getaway. Tickets are already on sale for next winter, together with an additional weekly flight to the Canaries for more flexibility.

Richard Pace, the airport’s Managing Director, said: “We’re already proud to support TUI in providing a year-round service to Tenerife, and now we have the excellent news that 10 and 11-night holidays to Tenerife are being brought in for winter 2020, with the addition of a weekly flight operating every Saturday from Norwich.“This provides holidaymakers from the airport’s catchment in Norfolk, Suffolk and North Cambridgeshire with more flexibility.”

Wells-next-the-Sea is Norfolk’s Premier Staycation Spot

The county’s holiday industry is thriving as more people decide to holiday in Britain rather than go abroad. And now one of Norfolk’s premier holiday companies, Norfolk Cottages, has revealed which are the county hotspots.

According to general manager Matt Frost, 23% of its website searches in 2019 were for Wells-next-the-Sea, followed by Cromer, Sheringham, Holt and Blakeney.

Norfolk Cottages enjoyed a 10.5% year-on-year increase in bookings, and Matt revealed Norfolk holidaymakers were staying longer (5% up) and spending more (up 12%) while in the county.

Carole Scoops Norfolk Director of the Year Award

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Carole Osborne Picture credit: Hannah Hitchins Photography

Carole Osborne has come a long way since launching her Norwich creative agency, borne. The business is now working with key national brands and Carole herself has been named Norfolk’s Director of the Year.

“I have been incredibly fortunate to work with some extraordinary people, and I spent years grafting and learning as much as I could from them,” Carole said. “And today, my agency is a blend of all of the best bits of the people and agencies I have worked at and a reflection of all the lessons I have learned.”

Carole insists a great agency culture is critical to fostering creativity, and she places that belief at the core of what borne does and the talent it employs.

“My objective is, as always, to maintain a steady and sustainable foundation for every one of the people I employ to flourish. We want to remain an active figure in the Norfolk business and creative community; our region is home to some of the most remarkable talent, and if we can give them a platform to be recognised, then we’ve done our job.”

borne is now based at St James Mill in Norwich, and Carole admits being named as Director of the Year at the Norfolk Business Awards, presented by TV star James Nesbitt, was the highlight of her career.

Electric Bus Manufacturer on Road to Success

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Equipmake Electric bus factory, Snetterton business Park, Norfolk. Liz Truss with Managing Director Ian Foley.

Equipmake, the Norfolk electric bus manufacturer, has opened a new facility at Snetterton Business Park, from where it will build and ship over 700 new vehicles a year worldwide.

Secretary of State for International Trade, Liz Truss, who is MP for South West Norfolk, officially opened the new plant, which will send vehicles as far away as Brazil, Argentina and India.

Equipmake is expanding fast, and staffing has increased from 15 to 52 alongside the move to Snetterton from its previous base at Hethel.

Managing Director Ian Foley said: “There is a huge demand for clean, affordable electric buses with a worldwide market of around 300,000 vehicles per annum. That figure is only growing as cities strive to improve urban air quality

“Equipmake’s EBus chassis is efficient and cost-effective; within eight to 10 years it will be cheaper to run than conventional diesel.”

The company, which also makes components for supercars, moved to Snetterton with the backing of Breckland Council, the New Anglia LEP and the Advanced Propulsion Centre.

From Kitchen Table to Shop Chain

Aurina Lambert began her retail life on the kitchen table, designing and developing her home lifestyle range, but is now celebrating the opening of her third shop.

The new Aurina store in Holt, close to where she grew up, is the latest store to open alongside existing outlets in Bungay, Suffolk and Burnham Market.

Together with women’s clothing and accessories, the stores stock Aurina’s home-grown ranges of household items such as tea services, coasters and placemats themed around her creations of Nellie the elephant, Hetty the hare, Jemima duck, Lobster Thermidor and Gerald the giraffe.

Aurina said: “A lot of what I sell is my own label which you can’t buy anywhere else and we work hard to introduce different items. We’re not part of a big chain and I think people like the extra service we can provide.”

Broads Boating Business Sold Back to Founder

One of the largest boating companies on the Norfolk Broads has been sold back to the man who founded it almost 40 years ago. Len Funnell completed the purchase of Broads Tours and Norfolk Broads Direct from the couple he sold it to 16 years ago.

Mr Funnell, now 82, said he had been at a loose end since selling his Ferry Marina boatyard at Horning last year, so is looking forward to managing his original business again, assisted by his daughter and son-in-law, Ruth and James Knight, who ran the Waveney River Centre at Burgh St Peter for 16 years.

“Paul and Barbara Greasley have done a fabulous job of taking the business forward into the 21st century, and we’re thrilled to be involved again with this amazing business, its staff and customers.”

The company, based at Wroxham, grew under the Greasleys to operate 60 holiday hire cruisers, 49 day boats and day cruisers, five passenger trip boats and 14 self-catering holiday cottages.

Pork Exports Drive Cranswick Country Foods Profits

Exports of pork-based products like sausage and bacon to China have helped Watton-based Cranswick Country Foods increase six-monthly pre-tax profits by 11% to £47.4 million.

Overall, its exports were up 65%, but business boomed in China by 94% after the country was hit by African swine fever, which has decimated the local pig industry. Cranswick is responsible for around 60% of all UK pork sent to China, so was in prime position to benefit from rising prices.

CEO Adam Crouch said some of the firm’s success was thanks to investment closer to home, with the creation of a new £75 million poultry processing plant in Eye, Suffolk, which should launch this year with 900 people being recruited.

He added: “I remain confident that continued focus on the strengths of our business, which include long-standing customer relationships, breadth, quality and relevance of our products, robust financial position and industry-leading infrastructure, will support the further successful development of Cranswick.”

As a further sign of expansion, the business purchased the premium outdoor pig farming business Packington Pork in December.

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Let’s B Positive is compiled by Simon Young of East Anglian copywriting agency Magic Word Media. Contact simon@magicwordmedia.com

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