Haines Marine’s �250,000 investment plan

Catfield-based boat builders Haines Marine is set to invest about �250,000 on a three-year development programme.

Company director Justin Haines said his firm was looking to add two new staff members to his 26-strong team as it develops new inland and offshore models.

The firm has been doing particularly well in the export market and Mr Haines said the last five orders –worth about �1m – had been sold in Ireland, Germany and Russia. 'We are bucking the trend in our industry and the orders keep coming in,' he said.

He said that as the recession hit, the firm continued to strongly market and develop the brand which had paid dividends. 'We are pretty flexible and diverse in terms of what we will build,' he said.

The new development programme will see the firm add new models to its range, including a new inland cruiser targeting markets in France, Germany, Holland, Ireland and the UK, and late next year it will also launch a boat aimed at the young family or starter boat market. In 2013, it will launch an offshore model.

Mr Haines said the Norfolk factory was currently operating at full capacity. He said: 'We would build five boats at a time, but we hope to go up to six in the next year. But to do that we need more labour and more staff.'