Leeds-based Imageco is making a major investment in the latest large format printing technology in a bid to stay ahead of the game and expand the business into new markets, with support from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
Owners of the £2.5 million turnover business Simon Harrison and Nathan Swinson-Bullough have invested a total of £294,000 in a state of the art flat-bed Vutek printer and have benefited from a grant of £28,400 towards the investment from the LEP.
The new machine, which prints on both rolled materials and board up to 3.2 metres wide, is three times faster than the company’s existing machines and will enable Imageco to offer a wider range of services and break into new markets.
“Investing in the latest technology is essential to stay ahead of the game,” said Nathan Swinson Bullough who, together with co-owner Simon Harrison, acquired the business from the original owners in a management buyout in March 2015. “We are delighted to have made the investment so early in to the buyout and it is the first step in our plans for investment and growth.”
“The new printer enables us to extend the range of products and services we can offer our clients, as well as giving us faster throughput, higher volumes and the shorter lead times that are increasingly important in our industry.”
“Dual channel white ink printing gives us a whole new range of creative options with multi-layered ink, while the Vutek’s supreme print quality enables us to achieve near photographic definition direct to subtrate. LED ink curing also means a significant reduction in power output so not only does it reduce our overheads, it sees us doing our bit for the environment.”
A £10,000 order for a leading retailer was landed within days of the install based solely on the new technology we can now offer. Sales for the quarter to December are projected to be circa 5% ahead of the same time last year again largely due to the new Vutek.
Simon added: “We expect to create up to three new jobs in our production, sales and customer service teams as a result of the investment in the new printer and the additional orders it will generate.”
It’s represents a significant increase in the workforce for Imageco, which currently employs 27 full time staff and one part time member of staff at its 30,000 sq ft premises in Leeds, where the combined head office, showroom and production facilities are based.
As well as grant support, the company plans to take advantage of further help available through the LEP Growth Service, including recruitment support and the new Digital Enterprise programme which has just gone live.
Leader of Leeds City Council and chair of the LEP investment panel Cllr Judith Blake said: “Supporting small and medium-sized businesses is vital to growing the economy and creating new jobs across the Leeds city region. They account for over half of employment across the Leeds City Region and in Leeds are forecast to grow their contribution to the economy by around 15% over the next three years.”
Chair of the LEP, Roger Marsh OBE said: “We understand that to secure continued economic growth for the region, SMEs must invest in innovative technology. Not only do we support businesses to invest in new equipment, we can help with leadership and management training, apprentices and much more. We are excited about the launch of new business support products in the New Year, so watch this space. The support is there, contact the LEP to find out what’s available.”