The BizQuiz: Norfolk business has a positive week despite major national collapses

PUBLISHED: 09:50 26 October 2018 | UPDATED: 12:07 26 October 2018

Debenhams shop, Norwich PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Debenhams shop, Norwich PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY


Norfolk has faired better than the country’s big name brands in this week’s business news, with the news of Debenhams’ 50 store closures and Topshop owner Philip Green falling from grace, having been named the man at the centre of Britain’s #MeToo scandal.

But closer to home it’s been a positive week for business, with new products launching to market and some of the county’s biggest success stories driving for higher growth.

Here are the headlines you might have missed this week.

High hopes: Cannabis grown in Norfolk could soon be available on NHS prescription

British Sugar has been growing a non-psychoactive variety of the cannabis plant at its Wissington factory site since 2016, under contract from GW Pharmaceuticals, to produce the active ingredient for the company’s new cannabidiol (CBD) oral solution.

Home secretary Sajid Javid has declared that it will be legal for doctors to prescribe cannabis-based drugs from November 1.

Norwich smart lock clamping down on bike theft

A Norwich company which has spent three years and £250,000 developing a smart bike lock is gearing up to take its product to market for the first time.

Geotekk was founded by friends James Sheppard and Matthew Leach, who came up with the idea of the Limpet lock after both their bikes were stolen.

Adnams chief calls for re-think over chancellor’s plan to hike beer tax

Pressure on the chancellor to drop plans to increase beer duty is coming to a head - with the boss of East Anglian brewery Adnams adding his voice to calls.

Andy Wood, chief executive of the Southwold brewer and pubs group, warned that the increase would pile further pressure on pubs, which are already closing at the rate of three a day.

Could any of Norfolk’s Debenhams stores face the axe?

Britain’s ailing high streets have been dealt another blow as Debenhams has announced it will be closing 50 stores across the UK.

Debenhams will close 50 of its 166 stores over the next five years, with the loss of 4,000 jobs, and doubts have naturally settled on whether the shops at risk could include any of its three Norfolk branches in Norwich, Great Yarmouth and King’s Lynn.

Norwich City accounts: transfers were crucial to keeping club afloat

The sale of some of Norwich City’s star players was vital in keeping the club financially afloat, its sporting director has said.

Details of NCFC’s accounts reveal the club managed to turn a £2.7m post tax loss in 2016/17 into a £14.6m profit after tax in 2017/18.

That was despite income dropping from £75.9m to £63.7m as a result of lower parachute payments.

Angling Direct wants to open 20 more stores after raising £20m through share placing

Growing fishing tackle retailer Angling Direct is set to turbo-charge its expansion plans after raising £20m from investors.

The company has issued 21.6 million new shares to institutional investors, with the cash injection used to accelerate the roll-out of Angling Direct stores in the UK and “significantly increase” online sales in this country and Europe.

Norwich makes top 20 list for best cities to work in the UK for first time

Norwich has been named one of the top 20 best cities to work in the UK, according to research looking at everything from job satisfaction to pay.

The city, which has never before featured on the list by job site Glassdoor, came in at number 20 this year.

The list is compiled having looked at three factors: how easy it is to get a job, how affordable it is to live there, and job satisfaction.

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