Big Biz Quiz 2019: Our top stories from Primark to Norwich Airport

PUBLISHED: 10:53 30 December 2019 | UPDATED: 11:47 30 December 2019

Philippa Nibbs, director of sales for UK, south and east outside the new Primark store in Norwich. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

Philippa Nibbs, director of sales for UK, south and east outside the new Primark store in Norwich. Picture: Ella Wilkinson


From shock store closures to unexpected expansions, 2019 has been a dramatic year for businesses and their customers.

Here we look back at some of the biggest business stories from our region this year.

- Café Britannia

In August more than 50 people were at risk of losing their jobs when Britannia Enterprises announced it was closing its sites.

The social enterprise helped convicts both serving time in prison and after their release by providing them with work rehabilitation.

Gill Building had nearly 50 staff. Picture: Gill BuildingGill Building had nearly 50 staff. Picture: Gill Building

The closure came after the Ministry of Justice served a notice to management saying that they needed to vacate the café.

In the following weeks it was revealed that in its latest published accounts (2017) the business was £384,000 in debt and also owed £91,640 in tax and social security.

- Primark reopening

Shoppers in Norfolk have been treated to a refurbished - and much larger - Primark store.

The Blue Lagoon was a destination on offer from Norwich Airport. Picture: Super BreakThe Blue Lagoon was a destination on offer from Norwich Airport. Picture: Super Break

The shop in the Haymarket was closed for 18 months and relocated to St Stephens, and when it reopened in December saw customers queueing to get in.

- Super Break goes bust

Norwich Airport holiday provider Super Break went bust in August.

You may also want to watch:

The company operated flights and package holidays out of Norfolk to north Iceland.

Earlier in the year the firm had also announced it would be flying to Iceland to offer whale watching and beer spa tours.

Its parent company Malvery Group went into administration and said that Super Break customers on holiday at the time may be asked to pay again for their hotel while future bookings were cancelled.

- Holiday park prosecution

Almost 200 holiday park tenants were at risk of being left without a permanent home after being told they could not permanently stay at Suffolk's Stonham Barns.

Some residents had lived on site for more three years but the park only has a licence to open 11 months out of 12. They were later told by management to leave the site during January - and ground rent was to increase by 11%.

- House of Fraser saved

In an extraordinary u-turn in January, House of Fraser at intuChapelfield announced it was staying open.

Owner Mike Ashley seemingly struck a deal with Chapelfield shopping centre owner Intu.

Store manager John Higginbottom praised the staff for their hard work during a "difficult time".

- Castle Mall rebranded

Bosses at the city centre shopping hub applied to change their signage dumping the old 'mall' name in July - in favour of Castle Quarter.

Sources said the change was to reflect Castle Mall's transformation from a simple shopping centre to a more experiential destination offering food, cinema, a gym and soon a bowling alley.

- Gill Building

A construction business which had been operating for more than 150 years collapsed into administration in June, leaving 48 people out of work and suppliers unpaid.

Chairman Andrew Gill said he felt "awful" that suppliers "largely in Norfolk" would not be paid.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Eastern Daily Press. Click the link in the yellow box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad. Coronavirus is one of the greatest challenges our community has ever faced, but if we all play our part we will defeat it. We're here to serve as your advocate and trusted source of local information.

In these testing times, your support is more important than ever. Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Eastern Daily Press