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Historic business beats path to future with investments and job creation


A major investment in new technology and the creation of new jobs is underway at one of the North East’s longest-established printing, packaging and direct mail businesses.

A third B1 colour lithographic press to help it to cope with extra capacity and enhance customer service has been acquired at a cost of £1.2m by Potts Print (UK) Ltd, Cramlington, Northumberland, after gaining backing from Yorkshire Bank’s Newcastle Financial Solutions Centre (FSC) through its Investing for Growth initiative.

Potts Print (UK) Ltd, Nelson Park, which was founded in 1875 and has 165 staff, is also recruiting 15 new business development and sales staff in a year in which the company expects to increase turnover by £2.4m.

The company, which provides lithographic and personalised digital print applications, bespoke packaging and direct mail as well as storage and distribution services supports a wide range of customers including international corporations, retail and pharmaceutical companies, the NHS and public sector, creative agencies, charities, regional and local businesses and performing and visual arts.

Potts Print (UK) managing director, Shaun Johnson, says: “We have continued to invest throughout the recession when others have stood still. Now, as the economy has started to recover, we are seeing the benefits of this investment.

“Much of the work we’ve been taking on needs B1 press time and we need extra capacity, so this investment is the next logical step and ensures we can maintain flexibility and provide the fast turnaround times our clients expect.

“We now aim to carry on expanding all our three divisions and continue to increase turnover. We are on target to achieve £15m in 2011 and, as well as the new Roland press, we have increased capacity in our digital and direct mail divisions with the purchase of a Xerox 4114 digital press and a Buhrs BB300 enveloping system.

“Yorkshire Bank Newcastle FSC has built a valuable relationship with us and has been flexible with our requirements and the terms of the finance for the B1 press.”

Founded in North Shields as WJ Potts & Son and in constant operation for 136 years apart from when its owner and staff were called up for military service between 1939 and 1945, Potts Print (UK) moved into its current 100,000 sq ft headquarters at Atlas House five years ago.

Yorkshire Bank Newcastle FSC business development partner, Steve Walker, who handled the deal with asset finance partner, Ian Thompson, says: “The North East will benefit from astute, dynamic enterprises such as Potts Print (UK) Ltd which are prepared to invest in technology and create jobs to drive the economy forward. Yorkshire Bank is very much open for business with money to lend and we are pleased to be supporting this latest stage in their progress.”

Although Potts Print (UK) Ltd opted for straight-forward funding, Yorkshire Bank’s Investing for Growth initiative also enables businesses to take loan repayment holidays, interest-only repayments and extended loan and credit terms to support quality growth opportunities. Businesses taking up the package can re-invest the cash into their operation for expansion, new staff, equipment, machinery and commercial development.

Yorkshire Bank Newcastle FSC is part of Yorkshire Bank’s North East Team which also includes Tees Valley FSC, Stockton, and comprises 70 staff working in multi-discipline teams encompassing corporate banking, private wealth management, treasury services and credit and operates a traditional method of banking with funding from deposits used to support investments in the local community.

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