Brundall-based Broom Boats unveils carbon neutral plan

Published:
11:42 am March 29, 2022



Joining Broom Boats as new Managing Director In January 2020, Antony Howell had ambitious plans for the shipyard and marina, but when the first lockdown hit its targets, his targets were put on hold.

Instead, Mr. Howell decided to use the time to create a clear strategy for the future direction of the Brundall-based company.

He said: “Covid kind of gave us time to reassess what we were doing and we invested in that time to really fight and align with the new vision of what we needed to do. The whole aspect of it was to look at who we were as a marina.

“When I arrived there were no local people. It was obvious that people in and around Brundall weren’t allowed or thought they could get in the water.

“So what we gradually did was open up the marina for people to get off. One of the first things we did was set up a kiosk under the name Broom Boats in partnership with the Food Vault to deliver food.

“It gave us the opportunity to say to the people in the area, listen, you can come down and have a coffee and eat. Suddenly they are by the river and we feel that we are part of the community as well. “

Founded in 1898 by the Broom family, the company has a rich heritage which saw it involved in wars, including the evacuations from Dunkirk in 1940. It currently operates as a marina and has 24 luxury boats for hire from holidays, as well as six available. for daily rental. The shipyard also continues to offer repair and maintenance services.

Since taking over as chief executive, Mr Howell has begun to implement his 10-point plan to make the company carbon neutral. This will include renovating old buildings to add environmentally friendly heating, such as solar panels and heat pumps, as well as replacing its boats with an electric fleet.

To pay for these plans, the company invested in different areas of the business to earn more money.

It started with the opening of the kiosk in the marina, but Mr Howell revealed that the company is also creating water lodges which will allow visitors who do not want to holiday on boats to have a alternative option to spend their holidays on the water. .

In another striking departure for the business, the company has also taken over the neighboring pub, The Yare, which is currently undergoing refurbishment.


The Yare Pub in 1916 when it was the Yare Hotel
– Credit: Broom boats

The pub, which will be renamed when it opens in the summer, dates back to the early 1900s.

Mr Howell said: “It is being refurbished into a wonderful pub and restaurant which will primarily serve the local community but we also hope to attract visitors from further afield.

“It closed at the end of November last year and the owners had been there for 40 or 50 years. We had a conversation with them and, quite naturally, as it had been part of Broom Boat’s life the whole time it was there, it made sense that we acquired it.

“We have plans to make it more accessible to people. It won’t become a high-end yacht club, it will be good food at the right price.

“It’s an old building and there are some lovely old features and some of those have been preserved, so we’ll keep those but renovate the bar areas for example, plus a new kitchen and seating areas.

“We will offer breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and evening meals.

“It’s going to be really important that we use local produce, the pub will be very local – local beers and local produce.”

Earnest A. Martinez