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Gorleston firm’s journey from Pirates of the Caribbean to the Italian Job...

PUBLISHED: 06:00 11 February 2015

Ian Westbrook from 3D Creations with part of the custom made scenery they are going to install on new super holiday cruise ship in Venice.

Picture: James Bass

Ian Westbrook from 3D Creations with part of the custom made scenery they are going to install on new super holiday cruise ship in Venice. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2015

Staff at Gorleston-based 3D Creations have been involved in a race against time to complete a £150,000 contract to fit out the theatre of a new £500m cruise liner.

Ian Westbrook, 50, and his team have worked 60 hour weeks since before Christmas to finish the scenery and props they have been building for P&O’s luxury ship Britannia, which will sail on its maiden voyage in the spring.

Four giant lorries will be arriving at the company’s riverside workshop tomorrow to load everything and transport it via Dover to Venice in Italy where the 3,600-passenger vessel is being built.

Mr Westbrook said: “I’ll be flying out there on Sunday with a crew of six. We will have one week to install scenery and fit out a completely new stage with all the rigging and facilities you have back stage.

“We have designed sets for the four shows they will be putting on, including a fantasy fairytale performance, a circus-themed show, a 1960s and 70s music show and a Glenn Miller era dance show.”

He said they would be meeting up with the video technicians, lighting designers and costumers who were playing their part in the multi-million pound project.

Because of late notification of the contract, they had squeezed three months’ work into eight weeks.

“We normally have two weeks off at Christmas but worked through this year. We even missed out on our Christmas party and will have that when we get back,” said Mr Westbrook.

It is the start of a hectic year for the company with work planned all over the country from Barnsley - “We will be doing phase two of a pirate-themed attraction at the Metrodome leisure centre” - to Birmingham and, closer to home, Cromer and Great Yarmouth.

The company, in its 30th anniversary year, is going from strength to strength, more than doubling turnover in the past eight years.

Mr Westbrook said: “We have grown to 16 staff and have just taken on two extra full-time staff, a prop maker and carpenter, who are both local. We had 130 applications for one of the jobs.”

The company has raised its local profile in the past year, building spectacular sets at the Yarmouth Hippodrome for an Easter pirate and Halloween show.

On the international stage, it has undertaken projects ranging from building a pirate town in the Caribbean for the Pirates of the Caribbean film series to constructing the set for Cat Stevens’ 2014 world tour.

Is your company finding international success? Email stephen.pullinger@archant.co.uk

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