Drayton firm helps boost non-EU exports

PUBLISHED: 06:30 20 December 2012 | UPDATED: 09:47 21 December 2012

George Forster, who founded the Norwich-based company Boosted Education talking to some young people.

George Forster, who founded the Norwich-based company Boosted Education talking to some young people.


A Drayton firm is part of a cluster of trailblazing businesses that have helped bolster the East of England’s non-EU exports by more than £10bn.

Boosted Education has started work on a £2.5m project to revamp the educational offering at the Hong Kong Space Museum.

It comes as the HM Revenue and Customs announced yesterday that the east is leading the way when it comes to growth of exports to countries outside the EU – experiencing a 19.4pc rise of £11.5bn to September.

It brings the East of England’s annual total of export goods to £27.4bn in the 12 months to September.

Dr George Forster, who founded the education firm near Norwich, said the international export business had helped the company rebuild its turnover after it was hit by government cuts to the Gifted and Talented education programme.

He said the company is expecting its turnover to halve from £1m to £500,000, but remains positive about securing future contracts.

“When the last government came in they cut the Gifted and Talented Education programme and we lost 80pc of our business,” he said.

“But we refocused our company to where the markets were so we could look at other areas. We decided to target abroad.

“We started to be more aggressive when pitching for work and that has yielded quite well by landing us contracts in Singapore.

“When we heard we were going to lose the work from the government we were devastated.

“But in the longer term we have learnt lessons. Doing work in non-EU countries is more enjoyable and when you have the world as a market place your business can become more stable.”

Boosted Education, which has developed science centres across the country, plans to revamp the Hong Kong Space Museum by 2015, with education programmes which will include a video projected onto a giant orb telling the story of the Big Bang theory.

Meanwhile, according to UK Trade and Investment, the region’s trade with countries such as the USA, China, Hong Kong and other parts of Asia is growing strongly.

The top export partner for the region is still Germany, but trends show that the USA is set to overtake Germany as the East of England’s biggest export market in the near future.

Liz Basing UKTI regional director said: “The East of England’s export performance remains strong with the annual total for exports of goods at £27.4bn in the 12 months up to September 2012.

“We know we’re facing a tough time at the moment, especially when it comes to exports to Eurozone countries, so we need to continue our efforts to boost overseas business.

“That is why UKTI’s annual budget has been increased by £70 million a year for the next two years while £30 million has also been allocated to continue the GREAT campaign. This will enable us to deliver an ambitious package of support designed to get more SMEs exporting, help UK companies access the highest value trade opportunities and reinforce the UK as the location of choice for Europe-bound investors.

“We will be continuing to work with local companies and our many partners to encourage more East of England companies to follow in the footsteps of companies like Siderise.

“Our aim is to help meet the challenge set by government who are looking to us to find 100,000 more exporters nationally by 2020 because by helping more companies export we help to create essential economic growth. Our Export Insight visits to European markets in the first part of 2013 will allow more companies considering exporting to learn about the support available from British Embassies in different markets to help them begin doing business overseas.”

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