Ipswich lorry drivers raise a glass as haulage firm launches in-house watering hole

Ipswich Town manager Paul Cook joined Olly Magnus to officially open the Magnus Group's new bar

Ipswich Town manager Paul Cook joins Olly Magnus to officially open the Magnus group's new bar for their staff - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Lorry drivers were joined by Ipswich Town manager Paul Cook as they toasted the opening of a new break-out zone where they can relax and socialise.

Family logistics business Magnus Group at Great Blakenham decided to splash out on a new decking area with seating and a bar overlooking a pond where they can enjoy non-alcoholic beers from Suffolk’s Big Drop Brewing Company.

Olly Magnus bought the road haulage, warehousing and freight forwarding business in 2019 following the death of his father and company founder Paul Magnus. The new area has been named the Paul Magnus Watering Hole in his honour.

Ipswich Town manager Paul Cook joins Olly Magnus to officially open the Magnus group's new bar

Ipswich Town manager Paul Cook joins Olly Magnus to officially open the Magnus group's new staff bar - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

A car park party to celebrate the launch was held on Friday, July 30, and included pizza, a band, casino tables, giant connect-4 and fireworks.

“I wanted to create a space where staff would relax and recharge during the day, but that we could use for events and fun,” said Olly. 

“It provides a relaxed rest area for the team and is used for meetings, lunch breaks and after-work socials.”

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The company has partnered up with local non-alcohol brewery Big Drop Brewing Company and the bar is stocked with a range of non-alcohol craft beers as well as alcohol options. 

“James and Rob are a real Suffolk success story with Big Drop, and partnering with them for staff events is a no-brainer. We all like to have a beer on a Friday night and catch up after the week and being able to do that with a non-alcohol craft beer is fantastic”, said Olly.

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The business has increased its warehousing from 118,000sq ft to 355,000sq ft and taken on more staff after opening a new freight forwarding office in Felixstowe.

The company is keen to combat a sector-wide driver shortage by focusing on staff welfare including working conditions and staff management. 

Emma Lightfoot, head of people and culture at the firm, has introduced a staff newsletter, better induction and a wellbeing service for staff members and their immediate family to provide emotional and wellbeing support.

“Over the next 12 months we will be introducing formal six monthly one-to-one meetings for all office-based staff and look at improving engagement through a mentoring and coaching scheme,” she said. “I want to look at perhaps setting up a running club, and more outdoor physical activities during breaks, and bring the teams together more.”

She added: “The freight, logistics and warehousing industry doesn’t always have a great reputation for staff welfare. We want to lead the change not only for haulage companies in Suffolk but in the country and show people that it is a great career to follow.”

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