Norfolk

Van Dal shoe factory in Norwich celebrates 75 years

Norwich's last remaining shoe factory is celebrating 75 years of making footwear in the city.

Van Dal was founded by Adelman Goodman in London before moving to Norwich in 1936.

In 2011 the company, owned by The Florida Group, employs 80 people and specialises in ladies' shoes.

"There are big benefits of being in Norwich. There is pool of talent and expertise in this industry," said Van Dal's managing director Tony Linford.

At its peak Norwich's shoe industry employed more than 12,000 people and sold more than seven million pairs of shoes around the world every year.

Former companies in the city included Norvic, Bally and Start-rite.

While 25 out of 26 shoe makers have fallen by the wayside, Van Dal - based in Dibden Road - says the company's success is down to their niche products.

Simon Goodman, Van Dal's chairman and grandson to Adelman, said: "Our shoes are a speciality for people who have a slightly wider fit - that has stood us in good stead."

Despite a reduction in workers at the Norfolk factory from a peak of 330 people, Van Dal are confident they will continue to survive as well as stay in Norwich.

"Norwich is our home and and we want to stay here," said Mr Goodman.

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