Paper industry veteran becomes Stationers’ Master

Former Thameside Group chairman Nick Steidl has been elected master of the Stationers' Company after serving as a liveryman for 27 years.

Succeeding Ian Bennett, who now becomes Immediate Past Master, Steidl stepped into the role, which is the equivalent to chair position, on 4 July.

Steidl holds the Paper Industry gold medal and was chairman of paper agent HH Pegg parent firm Thameside Group from 1984 to 2008. He remains non-executive chairman of the latter. During his 12-month term he will see the start of the planned renovation of Stationers’ Hall and will focus, among other things, on education, one of his passions.

During his long involvement with Stationers’ Company Steidl has assisted in the publication of various reports on the future of paper and print as well as packaging and also served a term as chairman of the Stationers’ Foundation, which is responsible for charitable giving and educational projects. During that term Steidl set up a partnership with Stationers’ Crown Woods Academy, a secondary school and sixth form based in Eltham, and education partner Leigh Acadamies Trust. Through the project, the school receives support, financial backing and knowledge sharing from the organisation.

"It's really getting better and better," Steidl said. "We are very much involved in governance, mentoring and developing apprenticeships. We try to link the school with our industries and we’ve even put in a state-of-the-art digital media centre, which is fantastic. Through projects like this we are hoping to attract more young people into the industry. 

"The Stationers' Company is a hub, a networking centre for the paper, print, publishing, packaging and digtal media industries and it plays a very significant part in all of those."

Steidl said that over the next 12 months he hoped to see the start of fundraising for the renovation of Stationers' Hall that would "reach into the millions". 

"It's a big project - there’s been a lot of wear and tear over the years," he said. "Part of the project will see the archives moved into an annexe in the garden because part of the requirement of our charitable status is to allow public access to the collection."

Another project that Steidl will oversee during his tenure is the use of St Martin, Ludgate, a Guild church that Stationers' has recently signed a lease on, for many of the weddings and events that are hosted by the organisation. 

He said: "We are custodians of our history and architects of the future and I want to really concentrate on the numerous projects we have going on. We have so many balls in the air at the moment and I want to land as many of them as possible during my year."  

During his term, the self-described "reforming non-conformist" said he intends to post Stationers' updates on Instagram, being a fan of images over words. 

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