Award-winning Norwich company calls for faster trains to region

The team at Oneagency collecting their award in Advertising from the Recommended Agency Register Awa

The team at Oneagency collecting their award in Advertising from the Recommended Agency Register Awards. Picture: submitted - Credit: Archant

The director of a branding agency, which has won a national award, has said a 90 minute train to the capital would help consolidate the Cambridge-London-Norwich triangle and make Norwich even more competitive as a creative hub.

Mark Littlewood, who turned his previous business into Oneagency in 2010, said his company was 'poised' for the economy to take off and for further transport developments to reach Norfolk and improve connectivity to outside the region.

'I've spent a huge amount of time on the A11, getting to our offices in Shoreditch, and frankly it's been a godsend,' said Mr Littlewood. 'The train station is a stone's throw from our Norwich office, so Norwich in 90 minutes would be just amazing.'

Norwich in Ninety was announced by chancellor George Osborne in June 2013 as a taskforce to make the economic case for reducing the Norwich-Ipswich-Colchester-London rail service to one and a half hours rather than two.

Some critics have said the project would break up communities and towns with the new rail line, and see an exodus of talent from the region to the capital.

But Mr Littlewood, whose team of about 35 specialise in PR, advertising, digital systems and brand management, said it would bring investment to Norwich and Norfolk rather than drain it out.

'Norwich in Ninety would add value to the city, not make people up sticks, or lead to it becoming a satellite of London,' he said. 'There is the possibility of house prices going up, of course. But it would tighten up our integration between our offices in Cambridge, London and Norwich, for example.'

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Oneagency made acquisitions of a PR agency in Norwich and another in Cambridge, said Mr Littlewood, enabling it to grow and open offices in Shoreditch in London three years ago to service mainly pharmaceutical companies such as GlaxoSmithKline.

Yet the recession had seen steady rather than rapid growth at the company, as branding had been a low priority for businesses - fortunes Mr Littlewood hoped would change in growing areas like construction companies.

'We've seen turover double in the last five years, which we're reasonably happy with,' he said. 'Like everyone we've had to batten down the hatches. We're poised now, ready for the economy to take off.'

And now the company has won a national award in the Advertising category at the Recommended Agency Registar (RAR) awards in Grosvenor Square in London, beating off a pool of 6000 companies and competition from within the capital.

'You don't have to be in Shoreditch to do great business. Norwich has an unrivalled reputation in the creative sector,' said Mr Littlewood. 'And Liverpool Street in an hour's peace and quiet with a laptop would be perfect.'

Would transport links enable your business to perform better? Contact business writer Jess Staufenberg on 01603772531 or email