Meet Mark Beaumont, Founder of Lanoguard

With ambitions to expand Lanoguard into new European markets and plans for some key hires, founder Mark Beaumont is looking forward to the future.

Today Lanoguard is an established brand, with challenger brands snapping at its heels so it will be working hard to maintain market share.

It’s a challenge that Mark relishes, describing business strategy as like organising a military campaign where your troops need to infiltrate new markets.

Lanoguard started in the UK in 2011 with products designed to protect industrial vehicles and machinery corrosive environments and evolved into a business which helps DIY users keep their vehicles protected from rust to the same industrial standard.

Mark was born in Newhaven and still lives in the town. He’s passionate about working hard to improve Newhaven, championing the qualities that make it a great place to base a business and to enjoy spectacular countryside either on his mountain bike or in a boat.

Corinne Day, Programme Director at Newhaven Enterprise Zone said: “A fantastic supporter of Newhaven Enterprise Zone, Lanoguard is exactly the kind of business we would like to see more of in the town…”

We caught up with him to find out about his future plans, what he loves about the town and how he would like to see Newhaven develop.

What’s next for Lanoguard?

The lessons I learned from helping to set up the Cornish Gig Rowing Club in Newhaven in 2016 and creating a community on social media helped us to create the cult following we have on our Facebook Group for Lanoguard.

We have nearly 20,000 members on the Lanoguard Facebook Group who share photos of their projects doing up boats or cars and share their tips.

Since we launched, there are now other competitors on the market but it’s the strength of the community that we created which helps us to remain front and centre.

We’re now an established brand so we need to retain our market share against all the challenger brands snapping at our heels.

To achieve this we have some exciting brand ambassador partnerships in the pipeline, we’ll be hiring a marketing director and expanding into new markets.

Without giving away too many secrets this is going to be a very exciting phase indeed!

Tell us about how you set up Lanoguard?

I knew I wanted to start a business which would stay in Newhaven. I grew up in the town and I live here now.

Every time I’ve started a business the end result has been that it needed to move out of Newhaven to continue to grow and thrive and that doesn’t work for me.

I needed a business which would play to the town’s strengths – Newhaven has a wealth of local talent who are very skilled at manufacturing and making stuff – it’s amazing the amount of products which are made in Newhaven.

At Lanoguard we sell directly to the consumer, and the town is well connected to send our products via train, boat or road.

I prefer to fix things instead of throwing them out. With Lanoguard it means your boat, car or other vehicles will last longer so you don’t need to replace them as frequently. The business really took off for us when we attracted some big names to the brand – Dublin Airport, London Gatwick, JCB and Newhaven Port all use our products.

How would you describe Newhaven?

If you love an active lifestyle this is an amazing place to spend time. We’ve got rowing clubs, you can hire a jet ski, take up sailing or go walking or mountain biking in the South Downs Nation Park.

Why is Newhaven such a great place to base a business?

Newhaven has so much opportunity for businesses. In some ways we’re constrained by the sea and the South Downs National Park, but if you think beyond that and look to other countries, for example by marketing to France, it opens up a world of possibilities.

You need to understand and embrace the challenges of running a business in Newhaven and turn them into an opportunity.

At the moment, a lot of people live in Newhaven, but leave the town for work – not everyone wants a long commute every day.

So, think about what business you could start which will be able to capture this audience.

Newhaven has fantastic transport connections, from the rail link, the road network and of course the ferry, so it’s very easy to ship your goods around the country and to Europe.

You’re close to places like Brighton and Seaford, but you’ve got this interesting backdrop of industrial architecture, the sea and the South Downs. I would describe it as industrial but calm.

Convincing people to travel into the town from outside is sometimes a challenge. Our solution has been to hire for some roles remotely – so we have employees based in Bristol, Nottingham and France with half our team based here in the town.

We decided to base our business in Quarry Road Industrial Estate because there are lots of fun things for people to do in their lunch hour and after work if they want to. There’s the marina, Co-op for food shopping, a pub and Castle Hill Nature Reserve for a walk.

What has Newhaven got to offer marine businesses?

Newhaven is the only deep-water port on the South Coast apart from Southampton. It’s small but big enough – the perfect balance.

The town has so much marine heritage and businesses which range from boat repair to salvage and dredging. There’s also dock side access for marine biology.

It would be a great place to study tidal biosphere and conduct tidal energy trials and has the potential to attract micro innovation businesses.

Generations of Newhaven people have made their living by bashing bits of metal or fishing. It would be wonderful to see more industrial and marine businesses to build on the potential in Newhaven and the skills which have been passed down from generation to generation.

We hear you’re in a local rowing club. What’s your favourite thing to do in Newhaven?

Working in Newhaven means you can go to the beach, you can row a boat up the river. It’s a place you can easily fall in love with. I love riding my bike all over the South Downs.

What is Newhaven’s best secret?

There are so many! It’s really hard to pick one out but I think a lot of people from outside the town aren’t aware of the water sports available here.

You can ride a jet ski, go wakeboarding, take a boat trip to the Seven Sisters and row up the river to Lewes.

But the biggest one is that it’s a gateway to the South Downs National Park. There’s a great access point in South Heighton which I bike to a lot which takes you up to Firle Beacon with some breathtaking views.

What changes would you like to see in the town?

One thing I would really like to see in the town is a proper venue where you can go for gigs and shows. I would love to see somewhere like The Sidings hold more events for example.

Tell us about some of your regeneration work in Newhaven?

I’m passionate about my hometown and about it making it better. I was involved in setting up the Made in Newhaven group with support from the Newhaven Enterprise Zone which helped people who make stuff showcase it and meet others just like them which proved really popular.

I also got involved with the Newhaven Regeneration Group which looked at ways to repurpose community assets. One example was setting up a regular rounders group for a completely random group of people to come and play in a park. It was so much fun and brought people together.

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