Two new branches drive growth at Anglia First Home Improvements

Andy Springhall and Mark Falgate of expanding Norfolk glazing firm Anglian First who are based in Le

Andy Springhall and Mark Falgate of expanding Norfolk glazing firm Anglian First who are based in Lenwade. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

A Norfolk-based home improvements company has its eyes on growth with the opening of two new branches.

And Anglia First Home Improvements believes it is well placed if an economic slowdown leads to a boom in people looking to improve their homes instead of selling up and moving.

The company, which has its headquarters in Lenwade, has opened showrooms in St Neots and Leicester, from where it plans to extend its reach into the Midlands. It follows the opening of branches in Braintree and Godmanchester, near Huntingdon, over the past 12 months.

The expansion has already led to Anglia First carrying out work as far afield as Enfield, Guildford, Grantham and Boston, with director Andy Springall hoping the next year would see its sales and fitting teams securing business deeper into central and southern England.

Sales last year were £17m, stable compared with the previous year.

Mr Springall said: 'We had hoped to grow our turnover last year, so on the one hand it was slightly disappointing that we stood still.

'However, when you look at the home-improvements industry as a whole, the indications are that sales were down something like 30% across the board, so we are delighted that we held our own at a time when several others saw a significant fall.'

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Mr Springall added there had been a fall in sales immediately following the Brexit vote, but things had picked up again since.

'There was always going to be a little bit of a knock-on effect following the vote, with some consumers verging on the side of caution, but there are no signs that it was anything other than a short-term factor,' he said.

'In fact, we believe we are well-placed to benefit from any economic situation, because even if the housing market slows down as a result of Brexit, that usually results in more people looking to improve their existing properties.'

Anglia First has seen its staff numbers grow from fewer than 20 when it started life in 2008 to more than 300 today.

The company grew from the roots of the well-established Debbage & Tubby. Originally operating only out of Lenwade, it also has branches in King's Lynn, Diss and Bury St Edmunds.

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