Print-Leeds expands team during pandemic

(L-R) back row Ryan Webster, Peter Richardson, Jake Forrester and Mark Cutts; front row Dawn Rawnsley and Rod Fisher
(L-R) back row Ryan Webster, Peter Richardson, Jake Forrester and Mark Cutts; front row Dawn Rawnsley and Rod Fisher

Print-Leeds has taken on five new recruits during the course of the coronavirus pandemic, boosting its headcount to 30.

Over the course of summer and autumn 2020, the business recruited Mark Cutts as a No 1 printer, Ryan Webster and Peter Richardson as print assistants, Jake Forrester as an apprentice printer and Dawn Rawnsley as a client service representative.

All new positions within the business, they were made to strengthen the team, with the business ramping up its label production since the first lockdown last March.

Managing director Rod Fisher said: “Covid has brought with it all sorts of challenges. Parts of the business have steadied whilst others are still trying to get back on their feet.

“As well as printing labels for the food and drinks industries we also produce print for retail, travel companies, events and exhibitions which has not recovered and won’t until the whole economy returns to some sort of normal.”

He added: “We’ve been open and producing the whole way though. At the beginning of the March lockdown we did furlough a third of the staff but over the summer everyone returned to work. We have been operating using the government’s health and safety guidelines with strict social distancing.”

The company operates from a 2,787sqm factory, which Fisher said brings “plenty of space to keep our staff safe”.

“On the labels side we’ve been lucky to get more work and employ some highly skilled people from the industry. And then we’ve been able to take on another apprentice – it’s great to bring young people into the business straight from school.

“Jake is a real asset – he loves machinery and engineering and with us he is able to work on the latest Heidelberg machines and learn the technology.”

The £4.2m-turnover business is planning to move into the self-adhesive labels market in the near future, representing a further evolution for the business, which started life as a repro house before moving into print in 2001 and into labels in 2013.

Print-Leeds was recently appointed by Black Sheep Brewery to print all of its wet glue labels for its flock of bottled beers while in 2019 it secured a £2m contract to become the sole wet glue label supplier for Marston’s Beer Company, which recently merged with Carlsberg UK.

Both wins followed an extensive £5m investment programme, which involved the company moving into its current factory and installing a £2.5m Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 106 seven-colour plus coater.

The business specialises in wet glue labels, UV litho on plastic and digital print, running a seven-colour Heidelberg Speedmaster CX 102 hybrid-UV press alongside the XL 106 and various digital and finishing kit.