The BizQuiz: Banham Poultry searches for new buyer, airline collapses and engineering firm cuts jobs

PUBLISHED: 11:14 05 October 2018 | UPDATED: 12:20 05 October 2018

Two men were found dead at Banham Poultry factory in Attleborough. Picture: Denise Bradley

Two men were found dead at Banham Poultry factory in Attleborough. Picture: Denise Bradley


It’s been a tumultuous week in the business world as Norfolk was rocked by the news that one of its biggest employers, Banham Poultry, was on the brink of administration and was searching for a new buyer.

Elsewhere companies had reason to celebrate with wins at the Best Employers Eastern Region 2018, which saw more than 15,000 employees have their say.

Here are some of the headlines you may have missed, and don’t forget to try your hand at our BizQuiz:

Banham Poultry up for sale, putting 1,000 jobs at risk

It was revealed this week that mid-Norfolk poultry supplier Banham Poultry is searching for a buyer, putting 1,000 jobs at risk.

Chief executive Martyn Bromley said the company’s decision to search for a new buyer came after “two or three bad months” during the summer when feed prices rose and trade slowed after the company invested heavily in new processing machinery at its Attleborough base.

He added that two potential buyers have already come forward, but only one of them would see the company stay in Norfolk and maintain the company’s 50-year heritage.

County’s best employers revealed in awards ceremony

The winners of the Best Employers Eastern Region 2018 scheme were announced during a conference in Newmarket this week, held to celebrate the scheme’s successes and discuss its findings.

Among the winners in the initiative – which saw more than 15,000 employees have their say on their company’s performance, culture, staff training and engagement levels – were LSI Architects, digital marketing firm Fountain Partnership and ingredients supplier Treatt.

Norfolk chosen as operations hub for two of world’s largest wind farms

Great Yarmouth received a major boost after wind farm developer Vattenfall confirmed the port town would be the home of its operations and maintenance base for the life span of its projects.

It means around 150 highly-skilled technicians will be based in Yarmouth for at least 25 years, to work on what will eventually become two of the world’s biggest wind farms.

Peel Ports Great Yarmouth port director Richard Goffin said the decision would “attract further investment in the existing world-class supply chain, bringing a host of employment and economic growth opportunities to the region”.

Norfolk virtual reality firm launches second company

The founder of Immersive VR - now Immersive Studios - Matthew Martin, has said he and co-founder James Burrows want the business to “grow aggressively” with plans to double turnover from £900,000 in the next year.

Part of this will come from the launch of their immersive experience company launch, X1st.

X1st will allow customers to enter virtual reality experiences together and play games in specially equipped venues.

City Hall holds further talks to discuss the future of £20m worth of Norse contracts

Norwich City Council currently has four contracts with Norse, an arms-length company owned by Norfolk County Council, to provide services from street cleaning to park tending, worth £20m a year.

At the start of the summer City Hall chief executive Laura McGillivray wrote to Norse signalling the council’s “strong intention” for the council to provide the services itself, rather than through the contractor.

Talks will happen behind closed doors next week to discuss how these services will be provided.

Phoenix Enterprise Park opens after devastating fire destroyed side in 2010

The aptly named Phoenix Enterprise Park will rise from the ashes of a fire which devastated the former Wessex Foods factory site in Lowestoft.

The site – which opens today – was taken on by Suffolk County Council five years later, and the £6.5m two-acre plot will now become a business hub.

The purchase was funded in part thanks to a £2.5m boost from the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) via its Growth Deal with central government, which later saw the site awarded enterprise zone status.

More than 20 jobs at risk at engineering firm just months after £8m factory move

More than 20 jobs are at risk at an offshore engineering company based near Great Yarmouth – just five months after it opened an £8m new HQ.

Twenty-two redundancies are expected to be made from the 165-strong workforce at its Artemis House premises at Beacon Park in Gorleston, which it moved into earlier this year.

Airline collapse leaves thousands of Stansted passengers stranded overseas

Thousands of travellers who flew from Stansted Airport in Essex were left stranded on Monday in the US and Europe after an airline announced it had ceased flying.

Primera Air, which has operated routes from Stansted, confirmed it would be suspending operations as of the following day.

A spokesman said: “On behalf of Primera Air team, we would like to thank you for your loyalty,” it said in a message to passengers.

“On this sad day we are saying goodbye to all of you.”

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