The Top 100: The power list of Norfolk and Suffolk’s biggest companies is revealed

Top 100 partners, from left, James Allen of Roche Chartered Surveyors; Andy Grimbly of PwC; and Jame

Top 100 partners, from left, James Allen of Roche Chartered Surveyors; Andy Grimbly of PwC; and James Hunter of Mills & Reeve. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY. - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

They are the powerhouses of our region – the companies which drive the local economy and employ tens of thousands of people across Norfolk and Suffolk.

And the members of this year's Top 100 list paint a picture of a region building upon its strengths, consolidating and growing despite challenges and uncertainty.

The list of Norfolk and Suffolk's biggest companies by turnover once again underlines the power of the food, drink and agriculture sector, which contributed nearly one-third of the £20bn revenue total – the first time it has reached the milestone.

MORE: Browse the Top 100 list in full here

Aviva's Norwich-based general insurance operation once again headed the list, ahead of brewer Greene King, food producer Cranswick and feed supplier ForFarmers. But the nine new entries – 12 fewer than last year, with none in the top half – raise a question about the region's ability to attract inward investment and attract major firms to the area.

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Entry to the Top 100 was open to businesses located in Norfolk or Suffolk with a significant presence, whose contribution to the region could be identified through a separate set of accounts filed at Companies House.

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It was compiled by PwC, a partner on the project along with Roche Chartered Surveyors and law firm Mills & Reeve.

James Hunter, head of Norwich office at Mills & Reeve, said: 'It's reassuring for the region that the big companies are still employing lots of people, turning over more and making profits, as it gives the region credibility. The challenge is to get more entrants to the middle – to attract businesses to relocate here. We still have challenges around digital connectivity, but road and rail networks are improving and the quality of life is very appealing.'

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Roche Chartered Surveyors' senior partner James Allen highlighted a strong showing from construction and property firms.

'The sector performance reflects improving demand for construction services, rising building costs and positive sentiments in most parts of the property market throughout Norfolk and Suffolk,' he added.

Andy Grimbly, Norwich senior partner at PwC, said this year's list was a sign of strength, rather than stagnation.

'It shows that our local economy here in the East is resilient and can weather the storm of political uncertainty, benign oil prices and a weaker pound, which is helping boost net exports,' he added.

BROWSE: Explore the Top 100 table yourself

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