Contact Originators hit by fire

Contact Originators manufactures flexographic plates
Contact Originators manufactures flexographic plates

Flexographic plate manufacturer Contact Originators suffered a serious fire at its Bredbury, Stockport facility over the weekend but has stressed it is "business as usual" following speedy action from staff.

The incident occurred early on Saturday (18 January), affecting one of the two adjacent facilities at the site, and investigations are ongoing with the fire service to identify the cause.

The business told Printweek it was in full production when the fire broke out but that "all staff were calmly and quickly evacuated with no injuries". The alarm was raised within 10 minutes and the flames at the affected circa 18,000sqm building were quickly suppressed, however the entire procedure took around seven to eight hours.

The company's second facility at the site, which housed the main production assets, was unaffected by the fire.

Contact Originators group chief executive Steve Mulcahy said: “We’ve lost one complete building but, with the amazing commitment of the Contact team over the weekend, we’ve been able to relocate the entire studio and production set up in our second facility.

“Fortunately, all of our customer data was backed up on two separate servers, so we have re-established all our systems to ensure the quality, consistency and service our customers have come to expect, right from Monday morning.”

He added: “Clearly this has been a devastating blow to the business. We’ve built a fantastic reputation over the past few years and we are determined that this will not affect our performance.

“I’m personally humbled by the sheer determination of the Contact team to rise to the situation. With the outpourings of help and support from everyone across the industry we can communicate with confidence this morning that Contact is in great shape and we’re ready to move forward.”

Mulcahy thanked the emergency services plus the company's suppliers, customers and industry competitors for their support.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the offers of help from the sector and despite the difficulties experienced over the weekend, we are back in full production and able to service our customers despite the seriousness of the fire.”

Contact Originators focuses on the corrugated and flexible packaging sectors. 54 staff work at Bredbury while a number of implants are also operated by the business across the UK.