Norfolk’s Britannia Fire wins 10-year German export deal

Britannia Fires Jackie Neish and James Foster inspect and stack the P50s ready for packing for the f

Britannia Fires Jackie Neish and James Foster inspect and stack the P50s ready for packing for the first shipment to Germany in the companys new contract with fire safety company Prymos. - Credit: Archant

Norfolk manufacturer Britannia Fire is set to roll out its first exports to Germany in the wake of a 10 year deal.

The firm, which employs 32 people, already exports its P50, invented by company owner Roger Carr, to Asia, the Middle and Far East, Netherlands and Benelux.

And it is now looking to ship the first 1700 units to Frankfurt this month with plans to send out 30,000 a year.

Staff at its Ashwellthorpe factory have been producing and packing the extinguishers made from Kevlar, for its first German agent, fire safety company Prymos.

The deal - worth £600,000 this year, £1.5m next year and £3m in year three – means the P50 will be re-branded the P10 for the German market with the Prymos logo.

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The company will also showcase the '100% Norfolk made' extinguisher at Germany's biggest fire fighting, disaster relief, rescue and safety exhibition, InterSchultz in Hannover in June.

Prymos is also Britannia Fire's agent for Switzerland and Austria and Gunnar Bathal, of Prymos, was at the Ashwellthorpe factory yesterday to oversee the loading of the first shipment.

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Britannia Fire's general manager Andy Spence said: 'Prymos is well-respected in the industry and has a good relationship with many fire brigades in Germany.

'We have been negotiating since last February and are delighted to be moving into a new market. To be showcased at InterSchultz is big news for us too.'

The extinguisher, which has an polyethlyene outer casing instead of traditional metal – had been awarded the Dresden approval for safety to allow it to be sold in Germany, he said.

Last year, as well as expanding its worldwide exports, Britannia Fire also secured a £3m contract with Rotterdam-based Drager to allow it sole rights to the P50 in the Benelux regions of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

The firm said that the P50's popularity lies in the cost savings for companies because it is service and maintenance-free, needing simple in-house inspections.

It is also carbon-neutral and 100% recyclable.

Last year the firm won the health and safety performance award and was runner up in the innovation category of the APEA (Association of Petroleum and Explosives Administration) Awards.

The P50 also attracted the backing of the Government's former chief fire and rescue adviser Sir Ken Knight, who recently visited the factory to watch production.

Mr Carr, who set up his business on the old railway station at Ashwellthorpe, said: 'It is an entirely Norfolk-made product attracting worldwide attention and demand.'

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