Print finisher Celloglas has ended a successful year of reinvestment after recovering from floods that left its Leeds premises under almost 1.5 metres of water last Boxing Day.
The floods, which struck in the early hours of Boxing Day 2015 and rendered un-workable all items of equipment in the specialist finishing factory, affected around 300 businesses in the wider area. Once the scene had been surveyed and insurance broker contacted, damages totalled around £2m.
A successful programme of investment at the 26-staff premises has since seen 10 new machines come in, including three new folders brought in with the aim of assisting with Celloglas’ new sub-brand, thefolderworks.
The new brand, launched officially in May, uses two Kama folder-gluers and one Moll to provide fast and bespoke finishing items, such as CD wallets, tent cards and table talkers. It has recently launched a website, which will be further updated in the early part of next year.
Celloglas director Richard Pinkney said: “We had been running thefolderworks in a minor way for about three to four years but we saw this as a chance to move into multi-processes, where we felt there was an opportunity for us to really offer an end-to-end package.
"You look at an area like folding that is quite traditional and think, ‘How can we get more enhancement on there?'."
Three new members of staff with the primary aim of working on thefolderworks have come in this year, including an experienced finishing operator last October and two BPIF apprentices last January.
Along with the folders, in 2016 Celloglas purchased a Brausse die-cutter, two Sakurai silk screen lines, three laminators and a high-speed coater. It also refurbished its two Heidelberg Cylinders and a platen.
Water first struck the Leeds premises, one of Cellogas’ three sites, after heavy rain in the early hours of Boxing Day 2015 flooded its drains. Pinkney was contacted after an alarm was triggered and he went out to survey the damage.
He initiated Celloglas’ Emergency Organisation Plan and 95% of staff attended the offices on the 27 and 28 December to help with the clean-up operation, before they were dismissed until the new year when Pinkney called in an insurance broker.
“We go to major trade events and had a long-term business plan on what to replace. Companies like Sakurai, who we have dealt with for 40 years, had a demo machine at its London site and moved that in for us straight away. We like to think we have a good relationship with our suppliers and they came to our assistance,” added Pinkney.
The BPIF and the The Printing Charity (TPC) also provided assistance, with the BPIF putting Pinkney in touch with the Leeds Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and TPC supporting all members of staff with a £250 payment over the Christmas period.
£12m-turnover Celloglas will next year be launching a finishing school, as part of an attempt to increase its self-marketing output.
It employs around 32 at its Leicester site and the rest in Reading, which is the main base for its Mirri metallic paper and board arm.