Long tradition of boat building comes to an end

Posted on 02 May 2018 and read 585 times
Long tradition of boat building comes to an endA 120-year-old tradition of boat building at one of the Norfolk Broads’ most well-known firms is coming to an end — with the loss of up to 20 jobs.

Broom Boats announced that it will stop building boats at its yard in Brundall after a number of unprofitable years for its manufacturing division (www.broomboats.com) .

However, the management team says that it wants to keep the Broom brand alive and is undertaking a restructure that will see a greater focus on its boat hire business. Its marina and repair and maintenance operations will be unaffected.

General manager Peter Reeve, who joined the firm to help implement the restructure, said there will be opportunities for some staff facing redundancy to rejoin the company in its leisure division.

“Most people on the Broads understand the vagaries of the boating business. We are devastated that we cannot make boat building work, but we are determined to maintain our site for boating.

“The fact that we have a mandate to carry on and can become profitable once we have restructured is very positive. Sadly, we will have to let some employees go; they have been incredibly loyal, and we are grateful for their efforts.”

Mr Reeve said that increasing material costs and a fall in demand for luxury boats had put pressure on Broom’s manufacturing division, which has been operating in Brundall since 1898.

With tourism in Norfolk continuing to grow every year, the company wants to capitalise on its established position in the leisure market by investing in its 24-strong hire fleet.

Mr Reeve added: “There are more and more people looking at short breaks, or at holidaying out of season. We are confident that the style of our boats will be attractive to boaters and non-boaters.”

Broom’s workshop, which carries out a variety of boat maintenance work, will continue to play a key role in the business and will deliver the lion’s share of revenue in the early days of the restructure.

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