Britain’s oldest boat builder confirms its intention to stop building boats

Britain’s oldest boat builder, dating back to 1898, Broom, is to discontinue boatbuilding and instead restructure its operations into a leading leisure operator on the Southern Norfolk Broads.

The move follows low customer demand, overseas competition and rising costs explained group sales manager Greg Houlston, all of which have changed the marketplace significantly.

“This has led to a strategic decision to focus on the growing leisure part of their operations and to discontinue boat building,” he said.

However, against this backdrop, he explained that shareholders have continued to invest, with the company becoming one of the best fleet hire operators on the Broads.

The company currently has 21 boats in its holiday hire fleet and plans to expand this further.

There are also plans to continue to develop Broom Marina and the service, maintenance and repairs side of the business.

The restructuring will involve the loss of between 20 to 30 jobs and consultations are currently underway.

Five boats are currently in build and Mr Houlston is keen to stress these will all be completed and all warranties will be honoured. The boats are expected to be completed by the beginning of Autumn and then boatbuilding at the site will cease.

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