Sink or swim? Printers take the plunge as they move business to bottom of vacant swimming pool

James, left, and Sam West, try out the swimming pool at the Charles Burrell Centre, at Thetford, whi

James, left, and Sam West, try out the swimming pool at the Charles Burrell Centre, at Thetford, which they are going to use as their new premises for their printing business, West Brothers, using the space to put their printers and laminators in the deep end. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

For entrepreneurs, taking the plunge with a new business idea can be a little like going in at the deep end.

Sam, left, and James West, in one of the changing rooms they will be using as the new premises for t

Sam, left, and James West, in one of the changing rooms they will be using as the new premises for their printing business, West Brothers, along with the swimming pool at the Charles Burrell Centre, at Thetford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

But a sign maker is taking the analogy a step further as it sets up a new headquarters – at the bottom of a swimming pool.

Thetford-based West Brothers, run by James, 26, and Sam West, 28, is moving its operation from Kelvin Place to the Charles Burrell Centre (CBC) in Staniforth Way.

The brothers are taking advantage of the vacant pool at the former high school, signing a three-year lease on Monday that will see them move their printers and workbenches into the deep end.

Refurbishment will see the boys' changing room become an office space, and the girls' used for storage.


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Despite the unorthodox move, James West said the space was suited to their business.

'It's a unique and interesting space which will get people talking, and that helps, but it's actually quite good for us,' he said.

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'The floor is wipe clean, which is better than carpet, and there won't be much dust. Keeping the temperature steady will be easy too - it's actually the perfect environment.'

The move will see some community disappointment after calls were made for the pool to be revamped.

It was previously used for teaching generations of Charles Burrell High School pupils to swim, as well as hosting Thetford Dolphins swimming club.

But with the cost of bringing it up to the appropriate standards seen as prohibitive, the centre's board accepted West Brothers' proposal.

CBC chairman Terry Jermy said: 'While the board was clear that it did not wish to rule out reopening the swimming pool in the future, it was obvious that there was no real prospect of this in the short term.

'Given that there was the potential to secure a further new tenant for the Centre, and support yet another growing local business, it was agreed that this three year lease should be finalised.

'The board were keen that any works due to be undertaken by the new tenant did not rule out the future use of the space for a swimming pool.

'The board are pleased this this is the case and that a local business is being allowed to expand and the centre will receive additional income which would not have been the case otherwise.'

Is your business based at an unusual location? Email andrew.fitchett@archant.co.uk

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