Norwich-based Delta Fire had double reason to celebrate at the Eastern Daily Press Business Awards 2023.

The firefighting-equipment manufacturer scooped the prestigious Norfolk Business of the Year award, sponsored by Barclays Corporate Banking, and also won the Environmental and Sustainability Award, sponsored by Norse Group.

“The whole team was thrilled,” said founder and managing director Ian Gardner. “These awards will help raise our profile, both in the UK and overseas, and spread the word of the company’s commitment to producing high-quality, high-performance products in a sustainable, environmentally friendly way.

“We celebrated as a whole company with an extra special Christmas party at Hotel Wroxham,” Ian added. “A programme to spread the word of these awards is just beginning via social media, our company website and by direct engagement with our supply chain and customers around the world.”

Eastern Daily Press: Delta Fire designs and manufactures firefighting equipment for a number of industries worldwideDelta Fire designs and manufactures firefighting equipment for a number of industries worldwide (Image: Delta Fire)
Ian left university as a biochemist but began his career as a graduate management trainee for a large firefighting company. It was there he had the idea for Delta Fire, which he founded in 1990.

“I loved the industry but became frustrated at how slow the larger companies were to innovate and saw the opportunity for a smaller niche player to manufacture specialist firefighting equipment such as fire nozzles and foam equipment for flammable liquid fires,” he said.

The company now employs a team of 40 and has nearly doubled sales since Covid to around £10 million per annum. A significant proportion of these sales are overseas, with users of Delta Fire equipment ranging from Perth Fire Brigade in Australia to the Danish Navy.

Approximately 75pc of UK fire and rescue services are Delta Fire customers, including London, West Midlands, Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service – as well as Norfolk and Suffolk.

“Delta Fire nozzles and foam equipment are also standard equipment on the UK’s two aircraft carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales, and indeed across the Royal Navy,” Ian added.

The company plans to grow by a further 50pc in the next five years, principally through export-led growth, and has achieved some major successes in the last 12 months with the appointment of important new national distributors for Germany and Japan.

Eastern Daily Press: Ian Gardner, founder and managing director of Delta FireIan Gardner, founder and managing director of Delta Fire (Image: Delta Fire)
Delta Fire is also aiming to become carbon neutral by 2025, with its sustainability efforts to date recognised by the judges of the Environmental and Sustainability Award.

It recently moved into a new HQ on Broadland Business Park in Norwich, which was custom-built to help the business achieve its sustainability goals, Ian explained.

“We felt we should design the building to be all-electric and as environmentally friendly as possible with excellent insulation, air source heat pumps for heating and cooling, and 100pc of the main south and north roofs fitted with 640 solar panels generating 260 MWh (megawatt hours) of electricity per year.”

Delta Fire’s CNC (computer numerical control) machines are tended by solar-powered robots and will consume net zero energy when a new 300kWh commercial storage battery is installed in the spring.

Eastern Daily Press: Delta Fire’s CNC machines are tended by solar-powered robotsDelta Fire’s CNC machines are tended by solar-powered robots (Image: Delta Fire)
“We have also started a new project to examine the feasibility of using on-site vertical helical wind turbines which are much more aesthetically pleasing and a lower height than the large three-bladed wind turbines we are all used to seeing,” said Ian.

As the newly crowned Norfolk Business of the Year, Ian added that Delta Fire is excited to keep flying the flag for the county.

“The Business of the Year award was especially humbling when Norfolk has so many vibrant and excellent companies working in many different sectors,” he said. “This diverse business community is the backbone of Norfolk’s prosperity and vital to delivering economic growth and jobs.

“We are especially proud to be part of it – working towards net zero operationally by 2025 and using these new technologies to help underwrite growth.”

For more information, visit