Broom Boats reveals plans for new riverside factory - and drops A47 vision

Mark Garner, managing director of Broom Boats.

Mark Garner, managing director of Broom Boats. - Credit: Archant

A boat-building company has shelved plans to move its factory from the bank of the River Yare to a new site near the A47.

Broom Boats of Brundall had lodged an application to build new, larger facilities off Yarmouth Road, near to the village's McDonalds drive-through restaurant.

The move was mooted to make it easier to move boats and plant on the road network, without the need to negotiate Brundall's narrow roads and railway crossing.

And it aimed to allow boats to be built more efficiently in 'better laid out premises'.

Plans noted that while quality and craftmanship were excellent at Broom, it took the firm around 24 weeks to manufacture a 40ft boat, compared with around six to eight weeks at competitors in Europe.

But planning officers at Broadland District Council expressed concerned about the size of the proposed facility and asked Broom to assess options on its existing site in Riverside.

Mark Garner, managing director, said it remained crucial for Broom Boats to modernise its facilities, in particular its moulding facilities, to enable Broom to compete in Europe and to comply with new legislation and standards.

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He said it was possible for Broom to accomodate the improvements on its existing site, for boats up to 50ft in the holiday and leisure craft sectors.

Revised plans will be shared with the public at a consultation event this Friday ahead of a formal planning application.

The firm planned to finance the new factory near the A47 by promoting a development of 175 new homes and a retail food store off Yarmouth Road.

It is continuing with these plans to fund the development of the new factory at its existing location.

Broom Boats was founded in 1898 and employs around 100 people in Brundall.

Mr Garner said: 'We are working extremely hard with all stakeholders to achieve the necessary modernisation of the facilities, while also securing improvements for the local community and safeguarding the future of Broom.'

The public consultation event will take place at the Brundall Memorial Hall from 2pm to 7pm on Friday.

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