How to transform a national economy: from bankrupt to boom in just three steps

Posted by on Dec 12, 2013 in Business, Energy sector

Here’s my first story for Qatar’s RasGas magazine. It’s the remarkable story of South Korea, known as the ‘miracle on the Han River’. Today it’s among the world’s most prosperous economies but only fifty years ago it was one of the poorest nations on earth. It has few natural resources, so how did it turn […]

Is there a high street renaissance?

Is there a high street renaissance?

Posted by on Nov 12, 2013 in Business, East of England, Writing

I’m researching a story about the fate of the high street and quickly discovered that it’s not all doom and gloom here in the East of England. But some cities and towns are much more successful than others. It’s not enough to have a wonderful historic centre; there’s got to be more to it than […]

The surreal language of the Cabinet Office

The surreal language of the Cabinet Office

Posted by on Oct 23, 2013 in Business, Writing

The A-Z of office jargon in today’s Guardian is good fun, but it’s not a patch on the surreal language of the Cabinet Office. Here’s a selection, pinched from the Lexicon Guide to Contemporary Newspeak: Legacy (leave a lasting): the next Government will pick up the bill. Open Government: letting people see the bits of […]

Tomorrow’s workforce – where are we going to find the talent?

Tomorrow’s workforce – where are we going to find the talent?

Posted by on Sep 26, 2013 in Business

Every business wants to grow. But with an acute skills shortage in Norfolk and Suffolk, where are we going to find new workers? I’ve been talking to New Anglia LEP’s Iain Dunnett, and followed that up with the Skills Summit in Norwich this week. I wanted to know why we’ve still got a skills shortage, […]

Are some cities more equal than others?

Are some cities more equal than others?

Posted by on Sep 16, 2013 in Business

Regional economies depend on the success of their small businesses for growth – but are some cities better placed than others? I’ve been finding out what affects our local cities  – Cambridge, Ipswich and Norwich – with some surprising results. You’d think that Cambridge has everything, but there are big disadvantages. I’ve been looking at […]

Decommissioning – big money in the North Sea

Posted by on Jun 20, 2013 in Business, Energy, Writing

I went along to the EEEGR event on decommissioning opportunities in the North Sea, to find out what this could mean for our region. There’s enormous capital investment, more than in recent years, as the ‘dash for gas’ speeds up and the coal-fired power stations run down. It’s a £35bn market, a great opportunity for […]

Diversification pays off for Suffolk farmers

Posted by on Jun 19, 2013 in Business, Farming and rural issues, Writing

Suffolk farmers produce some of the finest food in the country, and they’re finding innovative ways to survive and thrive in difficult times. I’ve been talking to three farmers who’ve diversified their business: James Foskett, who’s growing organic vegetables and salads for the supermarkets; Jonathan Simper, who’s farming shellfish in the Deben estuary, and William Buchanan, […]

Cultural tourism – how can Suffolk (and Norfolk) build on the ‘Britten impact’?

Posted by on Jun 18, 2013 in Business, Travel & Tourism, Writing

Benjamin Britten’s centenary is big business for Suffolk’s tourism industry this year, but how can the momentum be maintained year-on-year? I aimed to find out how it could be done. It’s a topic that’s been debated hotly in the New Anglia LEP community, with good reason: Norfolk and Suffolk have a wealth of cultural assets to […]

Branding – evolution or revolution?

Posted by on May 24, 2013 in Branding, Business, Travel & Tourism

Developing a brand for your business is hard work.  How do you make sure your rebrand isn’t an expensive disaster? I’ve been talking to Pete Waters, a man who knows about brands and rebranding. He’s dealing with that challenge himself as Brand Manager for Visit Norfolk. “After product, branding is the most important aspect of […]

Sudbury’s silk – an extraordinary export story

Sudbury’s silk – an extraordinary export story

Posted by on May 24, 2013 in Business

Our latest theme for IOD Suffolk magazine is export. We’ve just discovered Vanners, a Sudbury company that’s been exporting its exquisite silk textiles worldwide since 1740. It’s beating off competition from Chinese rivals, who can’t match its quality. What’s their secret? I went along to find out, accompanied by photographer Gary John Norman. Vanners’ MD […]