After weeks of restoration and anticipation, The Original Cottage Company has finally relocated to Bank House (formerly known as Bank Chambers), not far from its previous home in Carlton House, Market Place, Reepham.
According to James Ellis, director, the move is a result of the continued successful growth of the business over the years and also highlights an ongoing long-term commitment to Reepham. “The investment in one of the town’s oldest and finest listed buildings secures the company a place in Reepham’s future,” he said.
Norfolk Country Cottages (part of The Original Cottage Company) commenced trading in 1992 in a cottage in Whitwell Street, Reepham, and its roots continue to rest firmly in the town.
The company has grown to be one of the largest family-owned, independent holiday cottage companies in the country with 13 brands across the UK and around 500 holiday lets across Norfolk alone.
A total of 48 staff is currently employed in Bank House and the new building allows further expansion of the team in Reepham, Mr Ellis explained.
The past year has also seen the company invest heavily in its IT and communications infrastructure, outsourcing to local suppliers to meet the growing demands of the business. This has resulted in the company being shortlisted for the EDP Outstanding IT Initiative Award.
Carlton House and Melton House are now being let as commercial space, and the first business to benefit is the new Rushlight Gallery, which opened on 20 September and occupies a key position in Reepham’s historic market place.
Norfolk Country Cottages has always taken an interest in the local community and is actively involved in the Chamber of Commerce and the Reepham & District Rotary Club, and has been a key supporter of Christmas in Reepham.
The company was instrumental in obtaining broadband for Reepham in 2003. It is also proud of its “green” credentials, having held a Gold Green Tourism Business Award since 2011, and has been involved in biofuel trials and other projects with the Reepham Green Team.
The business’s nominated charity Wheatfen Broad (one of the few remaining areas of Yare Valley swamp) has valued greatly from its continued donations, funding along with other things a purpose-built educational centre.
Mr Ellis said: “This move really shows our continued commitment to Reepham and the staff we employ there with modernised office space designed to take the company into the future.
“We are also delighted that the move to Bank House allows more businesses to invest in Reepham with the use of Carlton House and Melton House. It’s great to see a new gallery opening up and we wish Jules and Ernie Allen every success.”