SPECIAL REPORT: A year of achievement, development, community involvement and success for Delamore of Wisbech St Mary
Next week we’ll continue our spotlight on Delamore by introducing you to managing director Wayne Eady as he enlarges upon his plans for the coming year.
But for now, the story of 2013.
● Seven local people joined Delamore this year on the company’s first apprenticeship scheme.
The newly created programme aims to develop new skill sets in horticulture and maintain the necessary skills required. Horticulture is key to the Fenland area and needs skilled staff and growing business leaders to be developed locally.
The new three-year programme initially took on seven focused apprentices, whilst this year will see the expansion of the programme into additional office-based roles, such as administration, IT and sales. In addition further horticultural trainees will be signed up.
Wayne Eady, managing director said: “After two years, we will have created more talent and experience in our own business and we will want our new people to be taking further steps. We’ve faced a reducing number of experienced staff in our business for some years and a reduced talent pool to recruit from so we thought we’d grow our own as well as trying to ensure the skills are maintained for the good of the industry.”
● One of the big stories at Delamore has been the development of the Fenland Horticultural Training Academy. Working with Fenland District Council and the Local Enterprise Partnership, Delamore secured £200,000 of funding, along with investing over £200,000 of its own money to build the new classroom and state-of-the-art training glasshouse in a bid to develop and ‘grow’ skill levels within Fenland.
The academy was opened by council leader Alan Melton in August.
Cllr Melton said: “This academy will play a major part in attracting young people in Fenland back into one of our traditional, bedrock industries. It will help equip them with the skills they need for their future careers.”
● 2013 saw Delamore expand into new markets with the opening of a Garden Plant Outlet.
The outlet was opened by Councillor Vivien MacRae, Mayor of Wisbech, in February and attended by schoolchildren from Wisbech St Mary.
The outlet is open seven days a week and aims to offer quality plants grown by experienced horticulturalists, at value for money prices.
The outlet has proved an amazing success and we hope to further develop it in 2014 with more hardy plant offers and other new crops.
● Delamore employees raised £8,000 for charity to remember a popular colleague who lost her battle with cancer aged 50 in January.
Over 40 employees competed in the Grand East Anglia Run in King’s Lynn to raise money for the Palliative Care Unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Delamore plans to raise further money for charity next year.
● The company joined forces with Fenland Council, Wisbech in Bloom and Street Pride to help revamp a piece of wasteland in Wisbech, in a bid to improve the local area whilst also develop the skills of local apprentices. The Herb Bank features about 2,000 herbs, including rosemary, thyme, coriander, tarragon, parsley and chives, and has been designed by Perry Smithson, one of Delamore’s apprentices. Delamore donated all the plants.
The project aimed to give an area to local people where they will be able to pick the herbs for their own kitchen.
● Delamore has been supplying the royal household at Sandringham for more than 30 years and was invited to participate in the Coronation Festival event at Buckingham Palace in July to celebrate 60 years of the Queen’s reign.
The festival gave the company an opportunity to showcase its products, services and industry to a national and international audience.
Delamore took 12 staff members with them to Buckingham Palace for the three day event. Many new contacts were gained both in the UK and overseas.
● The firm was the big winners at Fenland Enterprise Business Awards scooping three of the 10 awards available during the ceremony. The awards aim to showcase the successes and achievements of businesses and people.
Delamore won its two shortlisted categories Fenland Employer of the Year and also Apprentice of the Year for our Trials Coordinator Helen Wright.
Commending Delamore, the judges said its strength “lies in the effective training and development programmes in association with the local college” and “all employees enjoy a good work/home life balance”.
The company also scooped the big award of Fenland Business of the Year with judges saying business “demonstrated strong management with sustainable growth in a competitive market”.