Jamm puts London site on the market

Jo Francis
Monday, October 12, 2020

Jamm Print & Production is selling its London premises as part of plans to relocate to a more suitable site.

Jamm's Woolwich factory: completion of sale will be timed to allow Jamm to relocate
Jamm's Woolwich factory: completion of sale will be timed to allow Jamm to relocate

The firm’s 2,260sqm Grade II freehold building on the Commonwealth Buildings estate in Woolwich, south east London, is on the market with Acorn commercial property and has a guide price of £4.5m.

The sale document states that the property is offered on the basis of a delayed completion of 12 months, “to enable the current owners to move out”.

It also has a 270sqm yard and eight parking spaces.

Jamm managing director Liz Shackleton said that some of the firm’s work had migrated to the Prague operation it set up last year in order to mitigate the impact of Brexit, and the business now needed a more suitable space.

“Our current building is Grade II listed and has such a lot of nooks and crannies. We probably need something of around 16 or 17 thousand square feet,” she explained.

“We have consultants working for us looking at alternative buildings or some land that we can buy to build something on ourselves.”

Shackleton said that buying the Woolwich building just over 20 years ago had proved to be a shrewd move.

“We decided back in 1999 that we wanted to buy our own premises and that has proven to be a good decision. We kept it as an asset of the company, and that also meant we have been able to get credit over the years.”

Shackleton said that Jamm had remained open throughout lockdown and trading had held up relatively well, particularly with charity clients, despite the effects of the pandemic on its work for galleries and commercial print customers.  

“The only caveat is that we don’t know what the Brexit situation will be in January. We’ve done everything we could to preserve our customer base. For it to be October and for the government not to be able to tell us what the situation will be in eight weeks’ time – it is ludicrous. Any company that didn’t plan eight weeks ahead would deserve to go bust.”

She said that Jamm’s UK sales are expected to slip from £3m to £2.6m, with a small number of redundancies taking the team to 24.

Although the firm’s Prague setup is doing well, the operation was struck by tragedy a fortnight ago when its 41-year-old production manager Petr Mika died from pancreatic cancer.

Before relocating to the Czech Republic he had worked in the UK for around 15 years, with roles at a number of print and signage firms.

Shackleton said it was a very sad situation, and that local and UK staff were covering his duties until a replacement could be recruited.

Separately, part of Jamm’s site is currently occupied by high-end digital and sheetfed printer Gavin Martin Colournet, which had a break clause in its lease and is relocating to an industrial unit in Walthamstow, E10.

“It’s really fortunate timing for us. They are leaving on friendly terms,” Shackleton added.

Gavin Martin Colournet co-owner Mark Cameron said the firm was gearing up to begin its move.

“Liz deciding to sell was a springboard for us to make our decision,” he said.

“We hope to be fully operational in our new unit by the end of November, and we’re also hoping to expand our in-house finishing facilities if the pandemic allows. The move will actually reduce our rent. The plan is to be fighting fit and lean and mean ready for the New Year!”


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