Business News

Adrian Possener, partner at Birketts and member of the Future50 advisory board

East of England law firm Birketts has advised leading pallet network business Palletforce on its £30m sale to international private equity firm Forcefield Bidco.

NFU Mutual. Picture

More than 100 jobs have been put at risk in Norfolk after a company specialising in agricultural insurance announced a major shake-up.

This handout photo provided by the National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution shows the spacesuit worn by astronaut Neil Armstrong, Commander of the Apollo 11 mission, which landed the first man on the moon on July 20, 1969

Businesses in Norfolk and Suffolk are being urged to take advantage of lucrative contract opportunities within the UK space sector as part of an event championing the region’s top innovators.

Sir Ranulph Fiennes will be the guest speaker at the 2015 EDP Business Awards on November 5

Guests at this year’s EDP Business Awards will have a chance to hear first-hand tales of endurance from a man dubbed the world’s greatest living explorer.

Andrew McTear, partner at McTear, Williams and Wood, at their new premises at Crown Road. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

More than 40 staff have been made redundant after an upmarket conservatory business collapsed into administration.

Customers and staff at Wex Photographic gather to catch a glimpse of the solar eclipse. Erwin Hayag showing the picture he took at 9.25am.

Wex Photographic, the UK’s largest online photography retailer, has snapped up repair and rental business Fixation in an undisclosed deal.

At Palm Paper are (from left) Stephan Gruber, Oliver Kilvin and Mick Beckett. Picture: Ian Burt

Leading newsprint manufacturer Palm Paper reported a better set of results for last year, thanks to an uplift in the price of paper in the first six months.

Peter Lamble, chairman Start-rite shoes, at the warehouse at Broadland Business Park. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The chairman of Start-rite shoes is to step aside in a move which will see a non-family member lead the firm for the first time in its history.

Left, Caroline Blake and right Shirley Edwards of catering contractors Edwards and Blake. Picture: Submitted

Street food, picnic boxes and putting nutrition high on the agenda have helped contract caterers Edwards and Blake forecast a 20pc growth this year.

Mark Lusher of WS Lusher & Son building services. Pictured with his daughter Kim.

Heritage builder WS Lusher & Son has a Royal Warrant to work on Sandringham House, has built sets for blockbusters, and has carefully preserved hundreds of churches. Sabah Meddings met the owners at their Sprowston base

Sarah Long (right) celebrates at the opening of her new clothes shop Queen Bee. Picture: SIMON WATSON PHOTOGRAPHY

An entrepreneurial mum has celebrated the official opening of her high street clothes shop - just months after starting her business from the family’s play room.

Indigo Swan. Left to right,, Emily Groves, James Wortley .

A small business founder has said George Osborne’s new “granny leave” would provide important options for parents with young children.

File photo dated 05/06/07 of solar panels being installed as the number of solar panel installations across the UK has almost doubled in a year, as householders and communities increasingly grasp the chance to generate their own power. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday February 16, 2015. There are now almost 650,000 installations ranging from large-scale solar farms in fields to schemes on homes, schools and police stations, with electricity-generating photovoltaic (PV) panels on one in every 50 households across Britain. The number of subsidised solar farms and large-scale arrays in England has soared from just three in 2012 to 246 in 2014. Residents from Balcombe in West Sussex, at the centre of protests over controversial fracking, have turned to solar - installing 69 panels on a cow-shed as part of long term plans to generate enough power to match the village's entire electricity use. Industry body the Solar Trade Association's chief executive Paul Barwell puts the popularity of solar down to fa

More than 450 jobs across the region are at risk due to a proposed cut in government support for solar energy, an industry organisation has claimed.

The Future of Social Enterprise Event at the town hall in Great Yarmouth.
Joleen Azevedo from Uniqely Chic.

Picture: James Bass

A group of social entrepreneurs had their first experience of pitching their services to potential purchasers at a showcase event organised by responsible business charity Business in the Community.

Shipdham Airfield Industrial Estate near the village of Shipdham. Picture: Matthew Usher.

A vehicle breakers yard has been fined and its company director given community service after it over-spilled on to land it was not allowed to use.

Busseys site in Dereham is going to become a Peugeot dealership in 2016

Norfolk-based car dealership Busseys is expanding its Peugeot dealership network beyond Norwich with the opening of a new site in Dereham.

Picture: David Jones/PA Wire

Businesses across the region are falling back into a more cautious approach to growth, according to a new report.

Chinese food producer, Freshasia, is opening new manufacturing premises in Little Melton, near Norwich, thanks to support from NatWest and Lombard.
Freshasia owner Calvin Lan (front) with, left to right, George Nobbs (leader, Norfolk County Council), Nicola Barker (NatWest), Katie Whitmore (Lombard), Carl Baker (RS Baker & Sons), John Fuller (Leader of South Norfolk Council and Chairman of New Anglia LEP Food, Drink and Agriculture Sector Group) and Chris Starkie (New Anglia LEP).

Norfolk’s reputation as the inventor of the humble dumpling remains a proud moment in its culinary history.

Treasury minister Harriet Baldwin, 2nd right, meets entrepreneurs Ali Clabburn, left, CEO Liftshare; Andrea Wake, COO FX home; and James Groves, head of client experience at Indigo Swan, during her visit to learn about the new Future50. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Entrepreneurs looking to grow their businesses are being urged to hurry to apply for places for a new business growth scheme aimed at creating 200 jobs across Norfolk and Suffolk.

Ellen Jolly, Breckland Council executive member for finance

A bold new scheme which aims to attract new businesses to Dereham has been given the go ahead.

Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk Richard Jewson presenting the Queens Award for Enterprise to Applied Acoustics.
Managing Director Adam Darling with the award.

Picture: James Bass

An underwater-technology firm which exports as far as China and Australia has won an award for growing its overseas markets.

The Forge pub outside Aylsham which has been sold.


A former pub on a main commuter road and town gateway is reopening as a restaurant selling traditional Thai and British food.

Intu Chapelfield manager Paul McCarthy. Photo: Steve Adams

Intu Chapelfield general manager Paul McCarthy says standing still in retail is as good as falling behind.

                                 Managing Director of Bakers and Larners of Holt, Michael Baker, pictured at the Holt department store.


Ploughing profits back into the business, preserving its “oldy-worldy” feel and a long-awaited refurbishment have helped a north Norfolk family business experience a record year.

Norwich Women's Business Network members, left to right Kay Burt, Margaret Gotts, Debbie Christophers and Carole Slaughter. Photo : Steve Adams

A network which fights for gender equality has urged young women to consider a career in the energy industry.

Petans training centre for offshore workers.

Escaping unscathed from submerged helicopters, fighting fires and finding a safe route away from a burning oil rig are some of the skills essential for offshore workers.

A phone mast in Norwich. Photo: Angela Sharpe

Much-needed upgrades to East Anglia’s 4G mobile network are being hampered by planning, access and regulatory hurdles – and rural business leaders have been urged to help overcome them.

Durum wheat being harvested near Beccles.

Record low fuel prices are helping to drive down the average of cost of farming, according to the latest agricultural inflation measure published by a Norfolk-based buying group.

New owners of Dragon House, Unthank Road. Left to right, Mike Kenny, Neil Frost, Chris Hilton and Nathan Defew. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

A growing hunger for faster internet speeds has led a communications firm to move into the city – and launch a fresh recruitment drive.

Launch of a new boating facility for Windcat Workboats and the unveiling of a new boat at Haven Marina, Lowestoft.

A major new boating facility has been launched on Lowestoft’s quayside to help pave the way for the growth of the town’s renewable energy sector, bringing new jobs to the area.

The view up the River Yare showing the South Denes area of Great Yarmouth home to many offshore industries. Picture: James Bass

A problem piece of land at the heart of an ambitious energy park project in Great Yarmouth is being tackled with a compulsory purchase order (CPO).

Elizabeth Truss MP and George Freeman MP at the Queen Adelaide level crossing close to the Ely North junction. Picture: Ian Burt

Politicians and business leaders in the region have written to the transport minister calling for improvements to the Ely North Junction to take place as soon as possible.

Paul and Barbara Greasley, owners of Norfolk Broads Direct.

The region’s multi-billion pound tourism industry has seen an 8pc growth in value and is now employing almost 60,000 people, according to new figures.

The QD store at Anglia Square. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

QD chief executive Nick Rubins has outlined hopes for a new store in Norwich and highlighted plans to expand in the region’s market towns.

Howarth engineering firm at Rackheath. Left to right, Mark, Andrew and Will Randall.

Three months after brothers Andrew and Mark Randall bought their stepfather out of the family engineering business, the bottom fell out of the market and their customer base dried up.

Rainbird CEO Ben Taylor, left, and chairman James Duez with staff members.

Enter the wrong password into an electronic sign-in at Rainbird’s Norwich headquarters and a guard dog’s threatening bark booms across the office.

The new CEO of Pasta Foods, Gordon Chetwood. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The new managing-director of Pasta Foods has given a clear assurance that the company intends to stay in Great Yarmouth – and further invest in its Pasteur Road site.

Local Flavours 2015 trade show of East Anglia's food and drink producers. David Channell, director of Norfolk Preserves, with some of his produce. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

More than 100 of the region’s finest food producers, wholesalers and farmers showcased their wares at a trade event at the Norfolk Showground.

The technology in the future conference at the Space, organised by the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce. From left, Neil Garner, Proxama; Sean Clark of; Caroline Williams, CEO Norfolk Chamber of Commerce; host Huw Sayer, Business Writers; Paul Kemp, Zing Insights; Matthew Wells, Naked Element; and Emma Swift, Tech City Uk. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

A mobile app, an up-to-date website and greater social media engagement were among the key messages sent to scores of businesses at a technology event.

                                 Albert Bartlett factory formally Heinz in Worsted.


A food factory is back in business following a four-month closure.

John Dixon, partner at Ingleton Wood, at the expanding  firm's new premises at Norwich Business Park. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

A 437-home development in the heart of the city centre is among the new projects helping the Norwich arm of architects firm Ingleton Wood experience its best-ever year.

Treasury minister Harriet Baldwin, 2nd right, meets entrepreneurs Ali Clabburn, left, CEO Liftshare; Andrea Wake, COO FX home; and James Groves, head of client experience at Indigo Swan, during her visit to learn about the new Future50. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

One of Norwich’s long-established industries still holds the key to economic growth in the region; however, it is the new players in the economy who will help determine future economic success.

Lowestoft company Harrod UK has won the contract to supply goal posts to next year's Rugby World Cup.
Pictured is an image of Harrod's Millennium Rugby Posts standing proudly at Twickenham

All eyes may be on the pitch today as the Rugby World Cup kicks off in England.

New signs for Kier and the familiar May Gurney signs removed on the company's headquarters near Trowse. Photo: Steve Adams

Construction giant Kier said projects in the east of England had contributed to a 14pc boost to its revenue.

Palm Paper apprenticeships. Pictured are (from left) Cameron Hendry, Oliver Kivlin, Billy Hofert and James Carton. Picture: Ian Burt

German-owned manufacturer Palm Paper has led the way in its pioneering apprenticeship scheme - and now other paper mills are following suit.

Clapham House

East Anglian care provider Kingsley Healthcare has sealed a multi-million pound deal for the purchase and refurbishment of new offices in Lowestoft.

The new Dereham McDonald's has opened - Franchisee Kenny Russell behind the counter in the new restaurant. Picture: Matthew Usher.

He runs a business employing 850 staff with annual revenues of £22m but Kenny Russell still can’t resist going behind the counter and - yes - flipping burgers.

Paul Pester, chief executive of TSB. Picture:  Suzanne at

TSB chief Paul Pester warned risky savers who lend directly to small businesses would be unable to survive the next financial downturn.

City Hall and St Peter Mancroft. Photo : Steve Adams

Digital business have been urged to help Norwich’s vibrant tech community earn national recognition once again.

Picture caption: Norwich Research Park Germains 71
Moving in. Right, Norwich Research Park CEO Dr Sally Ann Forsyth and development & leasing manager Jonathan Barnard welcome Germains Seed Technology to Centrum. Pictured is (centre to left) Steve Moon, Gerard Mulqueen, Ab Aarnoudse, Hamad Siddiqui and Christopher Stephens. Picture: Paul Nixon

Leading seed technology firm Germains has joined Norwich Research Park’s new state-of-the art laboratory.

University of East Anglia Business School. Picture submitted

The University of East Anglia’s part-time Executive MBA is helping to create the business leaders of tomorrow. Business writer Stephen Pullinger spoke to alumni from across the region about their experiences.

David Spooner of Fireworks@Godfreys, Stuart Morton of Price Bailey and Mike Parker of Godfreys Kitchens & Bathrooms outside the Lowestoft store.

Two businesses are to start trading from the Godfrey’s department store in Lowestoft which closed earlier this month after going into administration.

Richard Ross speaks at the office warming party of Chadwick's on Friday September 11 at the Enterprise Centre at the UEA. Picture: Suzanne at

In a bid to expand and further its drive for continued learning, Chadwick’s has moved offices to the heart of the UEA.

LEP leader Mark Goodall offered reassurance to the region’s energy firms after a gloomy report from the body responsible for the oil and gas industry.

File photo dated 18/3/2014 of Morrisons shopping trolleys, as the ailing supermarket giant finally revealed which 11 stores it plans to close, in a move that will see 900 people lose their jobs. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday September 16, 2015. Morrisons had outlined plans for the closures last week as part of a dramatic revamp, but has only now revealed which stores will be hit. See PA story CITY Morrisons. Photo credit should read: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Ailing supermarket giant Morrisons has finally revealed which 11 stores it plans to close, in a move that will see 900 people lose their jobs.

Norfolk Car Club founder Rex Warner with the new smart card and car club users Helen Thurtle and Mark Skipper. Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

Hundreds of people who make use of the city’s pay-as-you-go cars will soon have access to scores more after a Government funding boost.

Longwater Gravel MD Will Littleboy.

A family gravel business is celebrating its return to south Norfolk after launching a new quarry, and creating 10 jobs.

The new recruits at Grant Thornton Norwich (left to right): Peter Waterman, Claire Green, Ryan Wisby, Naomi Gorta-Slight, Sam Palmer, Natalie McCloud and Robert Blowers. Picture: Submitted

Seven new faces have been welcomed to begin their careers at the Norwich office of financial and business advisers Grant Thornton as part of the firm’s training programme.

Laura Willimott and Emily Woodhall in the new kitchen showroom area of Godfreys in Lowestoft.

Picture: James Bass

Godfreys department store in Lowestoft closed last week. ANDREW PAPWORTH looks at the reasons why it was forced to shut.

Picture shows: An aerial view of the Nar Ouse Regeneration Area in King's Lynn and the surround road and housing structures.

A scheme that will make King’s Lynn a leading centre in manufacturing and engineering could be a step closer to becoming reality.

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