Double Norfolk Business Awards win fitting testament to founder’s legacy
PUBLISHED: 16:58 17 March 2020 | UPDATED: 16:58 17 March 2020
Winner of both Business of the Year and Investing in Future Growth at last year’s Norfolk Business Awards, Richardson’s Leisure has established itself as one of the most celebrated brands in East Anglia. Chief executive Greg Munford reveals the legacy and strategy behind their glittering success.
In 1944, Robert Richardson bought his first motor cruiser and christened it MacNab. A pioneer of post-war tourism, Mr Richardson spent the next 75 years building what has become one of the most accomplished businesses in Norfolk.
Today, Richardson’s Leisure has the largest hire fleet in the Broads National Park at Richardson’s Boating Holidays in Stalham. The company owns and operates Hemsby Beach Holiday Park on the Norfolk coast, alongside Richardson’s Day Boats in Wroxham, Richardson’s Family Entertainment Centre in Lowestoft and the Yacht Club Leisure Complex.
Last year, Mr Richardson sadly passed away. But his passing was marked by a symbolic victory by all those who carry his torch at Richardson’s Leisure. The company celebrated two historic wins at the Norfolk Business Awards, taking home prizes for Business of the Year and Investing in Future Growth – a fitting testament to Mr Richardson’s legacy.
Greg Munford, chief executive at Richardson’s Leisure, said: “Holding the torch for the tourism and leisure sector among the diverse businesses entering the Norfolk Business Awards is a great honour.”
Mr Munford added that winning the Business of the Year award, sponsored by Barclays, shows the company is “doing something right”.
Richardson’s was also presented with the Investing in Future Growth award, sponsored by Lovell, which was bestowed for their continuing investment in staff development, training and empowerment.
Mr Munford claims their most important investment has been Richardson’s We R Family initiative: “Team members attended workshops and achieved an ILM qualification. This initiative was implemented to ensure we employ a consistent approach to our customer service.
“Richardson’s is committed to continual investment and development of our team. We feel it creates a culture of learning, but also fun – and it really does see our guests’ experience improve dramatically.
“The awards are a great way to show our team that their hard work is really valued. From our brilliant team at Richardson’s Family Entertainment Centre in Lowestoft to the fantastic people at Richardson’s Boating Holidays in Stalham and all the great people in between. This shows what we can achieve if we all work together.”
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And what does the future hold for Richardson’s?
“We aim to build on our brand presence to promote all that Norfolk has to offer. Since 2010 we have taken a ‘thought leader’ approach to our marketing strategy and fully immersed ourselves in the business community, while promoting the very best in Norfolk by sponsoring and championing complementary businesses, products and publications.”
Mr Munford has some advice for businesses considering entering the Norfolk Business Awards 2020. “Entering the Norfolk Business Awards gives you an opportunity to step outside your business to review and reflect on what’s working and what’s not.
“We found the judge’s interrogation of our strategy to be a thought-provoking and rewarding experience, adding real value to our business. I would encourage any business to enter the awards.”
What the judges said
With total investment of £15.8 million by the end of 2019, Richardson’s has brought 60,000 visitors to the county, achieving
a 4.5 average review score on TripAdvisor, which is absolutely fantastic. It has created the largest and most up to date cruiser fleet on the Norfolk Broads, as well as hugely upgraded accommodation stock across its parks and modern family entertainment centres.
Tim Seeley, Barclays head of corporate banking in East Anglia
Richardson’s Leisure has prudently managed business assets to strategically reinvest within their core markets. They have clearly planned and executed their business growth strategy successfully to ensure maximum return on investment, maintaining a fantastic employee-led business that thrives on success and customer satisfaction, while continuing to invest for the future.
Matthew Goakes, Lovell regional commercial director
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