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World Class Norfolk: The companies making a global difference

PUBLISHED: 10:09 27 July 2018 | UPDATED: 10:09 27 July 2018

Norfolk companies are shining in industries across the world. Picture: Nick Butcher

Norfolk companies are shining in industries across the world. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2018

From manufacturing for NASA to advising Google – Norfolk companies are doing some spectacular things.

Norwich based firm Micross Components provide parts for the space indsutry. 
Picture: Nick ButcherNorwich based firm Micross Components provide parts for the space indsutry. Picture: Nick Butcher

Micross Components, Norwich

Norwich firm Micross Components is helping to fuel the push for the final frontier with its work for the global space industry.

It has built parts which have been on more than 100 successful space missions for NASA and the European Space Agency, as well as governments and commercial companies.

The firm, which began trading in 1984 and has its UK headquarters in Hellesdon Park Road, builds and tests semi-conductors to work in harsh environments such as those found in space, in deep drill holes in the oil and gas industry and on aircraft.

Phil Hall, chief executive of Mirus Aircraft Seating, based in Hingham. Picture: Sonya DuncanPhil Hall, chief executive of Mirus Aircraft Seating, based in Hingham. Picture: Sonya Duncan

To make sure they can withstand the extreme pressure and temperatures the components undergo weeks of testing.

Micross, which reported turnover of £17.6m in 2016, has recently expanded into a third industrial unit in Norwich.

It hopes to grow its 65-strong workforce with the addition of a new training programme.

Mirus Aircraft Seating, Hingham

Norwich digital marketing agency Fountain Partnership.
Partners Rob Morley, Laura Jennings, Rebecca Lewis-Smith and Marcus Hemsley.
 Picture: Nick ButcherNorwich digital marketing agency Fountain Partnership. Partners Rob Morley, Laura Jennings, Rebecca Lewis-Smith and Marcus Hemsley. Picture: Nick Butcher

If you are planning a flight to Asia any time soon, your seat on the plane may have been made in Norfolk.

Mirus Aircraft Seating, based in Hingham, has held a contract with budget carrier Air Asia since launching in 2016. Deliveries began in January, with around 100,000 seats due to be delivered over the next 10 to 11 years.

Other contracts are in the pipeline with airlines in South America, Germany, Holland, Belgium and the UK.

Mirus has new seat designs for short and long haul flights under its belt, and has recently been approved for deliveries for new Airbus aircraft.

Fountain Partnership directors Laura Jennings, Marcus Helmsley, Rob Morley, Rebecca Lewis Smith and manager Alice Rose after winning a Global Google Premier Partner award.  Picture: Fountain PartnershipFountain Partnership directors Laura Jennings, Marcus Helmsley, Rob Morley, Rebecca Lewis Smith and manager Alice Rose after winning a Global Google Premier Partner award. Picture: Fountain Partnership

Alongside its Hingham headquarters it now has offices in California, Santiago in Chile, the Middle East and Malaysia.

Chief executive Phil Hall, who used to work as a design engineer in Formula One, has said the lightweight seats designed and produced by Mirus can cut fuels costs and increase efficiency.

Fountain Partnership, Norwich

Even Google has been learning from digital marketing specialists Fountain Partnership.

The new freeze-drying machine at Natures Menu pet food factory in Snetterton. 
Picture: ANTONY KELLYThe new freeze-drying machine at Natures Menu pet food factory in Snetterton. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The Norwich company won the growing business online award at the Global Google Premier Partner Awards 2017, out of 1,100 partner organisations.

After winning the search innovation category at the awards in 2016 some members of the global tech giant visited its office, then in Palace Street, for a takeover day in which its staff were taught about Google practices.

But the tables have since turned and the firm – which has an “evidence-based” strategy which covers search engine and conversion rate optimisation, content marketing and social media advertising – has since advised Google vice president Mary Ellen Coe on digital marketing techniques.

Fountain’s four co-directors have spoken about the company’s numbers-driven approach to digital marketing at international events, including at Google’s Premier Partner Summit in New York last year.

The firm is now based in Bethel Street and employs 36 people.

Natures Menu

In the raw pet food market, there are few companies bigger than Natures Menu.

It has invested more than £16m in building and fitting out a state-of-the-art factory in Snetterton – the biggest raw pet food factory in Europe, and one of the biggest in the world.

It is also the first company in Europe to have started using freeze-drying as a technique in the manufacturing process of its pet foods.

Natures Menu has nationally recognised brands like Country Hunter and True Instinct and counts Pets At Home among its stockists.

Founded in 1981, the family firm was based in Watton until the new factory off the A11 opened in November last year.

Managing director Craig Taylor believes that over the next five years the new facility could help double the firm’s £40m turnover and grow its workforce, which has already increased from 70 to 220, helped in part by the move.

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