Fast-growing cruise firm invests £1m in office upgrades

By Tim Aldred

10 Nov 2023

Panache Cruises Office

Panache Cruises - recently recognised as the fastest growing company in the North - has invested £1m in upgrading its global headquarters at Strawberry Fields in Chorley.

The work includes transforming three separate spaces into a large, open-plan office with a recreational area.

In addition to modernising its workplace, the upgrade also better accommodates the team which has grown to a headcount of 52.

The space was designed by Bolton-based architectural services firm Elizabeth George, and Panache says it is already seeing more of its colleagues coming into the office than before.

Panache has also recruited chef-to-the-stars Lashuan Pryce to prepare lunches which are provided free of charge to the team when they are working in the office.

Pryce who cooks for a number of professional footballers, including Manchester City and England player Kalvin Phillips, Wales international Tyler Roberts and Newcastle United midfielder Joe Willock, has also appeared on the TV show ‘The F Word’ with celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay.

James Cole, the founder and CEO of the business, said: "Our people are our most important asset and what drives our success. We operate a highly sophisticated digital marketing strategy coupled with good old fashioned offline, personalised customer service – so the way our team manages their relationships with customers is pivotal to our future success.

"The new office is attracting more of the team to come in more regularly, which is not only creating a great vibe in the building, but we are also seeing an increase in sales.”

This growth will see the company's turnover exceed £20m by the end of 2023. It has already been recognised as the fastest growing in the north by the Fast Growth 50 Index.

James Cole added: "We are absolutely delighted to have come in at first place in this highly respected UBS initiative.

“I founded Panache Cruises in July 2020 in the height of the pandemic, and at a time when everyone told me that I was mad to be starting a cruise business when the international travel industry was pretty much closed down.

"Now, three years on, we are seen as the top performing company in the North of England which is an amazing achievement, and an accolade I dedicate to my fantastic colleagues who have worked tirelessly to make our business thrive."

This month Panache Cruises has also achieved its initial objective of having at least 10 apprentices in the business by the end of 2023, with plans to introduce more in the future. 

Currently deploying 12 apprenticeships working across all areas of its business including marketing, finance, sales and customer service, those who finish the programme, with a 100 per cent success rate, will be offered full-time positions and receive further development to become managers and leaders of the future.

Enjoyed this? Read more from Tim Aldred

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