The Broadland Business Forum, which is run alongside the Broadland Online Business Directory
enjoyed a day on the Broads on Wednesday 25th April, when they met at the Norfolk Broads Yacht Club for the quarterly breakfast forum.
Alongside the chance to hear from some top speakers on tourism in Broadland, including Barbara Greasley of Norfolk Broads Tourism and former Radio Norwich DJ Steve Bradley, members also had the opportunity to enjoy Wroxham Broad with a trip out on boats provided by the speakers and the Yacht Club.
The Norfolk Broads itself, is looking to expand its global appeal with a raft of initiatives, which were announced by Norfolk Broads Tourism Chairperson Barbara Greasley during the Broadland Business Forum at the Norfolk Broads Yacht Club.
“The Norfolk Broads is a jewel in the crown for this part of the world. James Berresford, CEO of Visit England vacationed on the Broads with his family in 2011 and will return this year and we need to ensure that others follow his lead. That is why we set-up the Broads Tourism Forum in 2005 and are continuing to grow our links with local businesses. Recently we have pioneered the Broads Quality Charter, which works with local eateries to promote locally prepared food and are expanding the Broads Outdoor Festival for 2012” announced Barbara.
Barbara also asked local businesses to get involved with the Broads and announced the new ‘Nuture the Broads’ fundraising initiative. “We are acting to safeguard the future of the Broads and are looking to raise funds specifically for protecting the Norfolk Broads unique character. We are working with local business to promote the scheme and are running initiatives such as a £1 donation on every hotel booking, to help safeguard a valuable resource”, adding “in 2009 the Norfolk Broads attracted over seven million visitors, who brought over £419m into the local economy, we want to ensure that this number grows each year whilst the Broads remain the uniquely special place they are today.”
The Broadland Business Forum also heard from former Radio Norwich DJ Steve Bradley, who has recently hung up the headphones after 15 years on the airwaves to set-up a luxury charter business
on the Norfolk Broads.
Steve, who has recently passed his professional boat skipper qualifications, gave an example of how local businesses working together can maximise the benefits the Broads ever-increasing profile brings. “We work very closely with Horning Ferry Marina and the local eateries and hospitality venues along the Broads, to launch and of course at the end of a long day on the water, there is no better place to retire to for a meal and a nightcap than a local watering hole. It is a two-way relationship and everybody wins.”
Whilst the Broads are seeking to build their national and international profile, local people aren’t being forgotten, with local sailing clubs also opening their doors to encourage as many people as possible to experience the beauty that is on their doorstep.
“There are people who have lived their whole lives in Norwich and have never been on the Norfolk Broads” insisted Norfolk Broads Yacht Club
Rear Commodore Malcolm Kemp. “The days of having to be interviewed before you are allowed to become a member are long gone and we are keen to encourage as many people as possible to enjoy Wroxham Broad. To celebrate the Diamond Jubilee on the 2nd June, we will be hosting an Open Day for members of the public to come along and try out the activities on offer. We also have seven wherries visiting the Broad, completing the spectacle.”
Broadland District Council also used the event, featuring over 70 local business leaders, to announce a new Environmental Business Network, designed to allow businesses to share best practice, to improve the economic and sustainable performance of local business. Kirsty Burns from the Council stated “we want this forum to be very interactive and provide a platform for businesses to ask questions of the Council’s environmental team and liaise with each other to boost business performance.”
The Broadland Business Forum is part of the BOLD Directory Group, which covers over 11,000 businesses across Norfolk. The Forum brings together over 70 local businesses at a series of events, to foster closer links between the public and private sectors across the region. For more information on how you can become part of this burgeoning business community, please contact Robert Ediker on 01603 702374.