Broads Tours sold back to the man who founded it 40 years ago
PUBLISHED: 07:30 14 December 2019 | UPDATED: 15:59 14 December 2019
One of the Norfolk Broads' largest boating companies has been sold back to its founder.
Broads Tours and Norfolk Broads Direct has been bought back by Len Funell, who sold the company to Paul and Barbara Greasley 16 years ago.
However the couple have decided to move on to other things, and its former owner decided to take the business back on.
Mr Funell launched the company almost 40 years ago, along with Faircraft and Loynes holiday cruiser companies.
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Mr Funnell will be assisted in the venture by his daughter and son-in-law, Ruth and James Knight, who have run Waveney River Centre at Burgh St Peter for the past 16 years.
Mr Funell, 82, said he had been at a loose end since selling his previous boatyard - Ferry Marina at Horning - last year.
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Mr Funnell said: "I've missed Broads Tours, as Hazel [my wife] and I always loved providing all kinds of experiences on the water, from river trips and educational cruises to days out and holidays afloat.
"Paul and Barbara 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."
Under the ownership of Mr and Mrs Greasley the company has grown, and now operates 60 premier holiday hire cruisers, 49 day boats and day cruisers, 5 passenger trip boats, along with 14 waterside self-catering holiday cottages, from its base at Wroxham Bridge in the heart of the Broads.
The pair said: "We have enjoyed building on the successful business started by Len and Hazel all those years ago.
"With a great team of staff around us we have seen the company almost double its hire fleet operation and have even built an additional passenger trip boat along the way.
"We have a loyal and enthusiastic customer base and are confident that Len and his family can take the business forward, and we wish them every success for the future."
The purchasers were advised by Chris Scargill and Jack Minns at MHA Larking Gowen, Richard Turner and Jo Nicholls at Howes Percival, and Mark Dembicki at Barclays.
The vendors were supported by Paul Warman and Nina Ryan at Leathes Prior.