Bell & Bain acquires warehouse, plans £4m investment

By Jez Abbott, Friday 22 November 2013

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One of Scotland’s oldest printing firms, Bell & Bain, has bought a warehouse for almost £500,000 and is looking to buy £4m of equipment on top of a £5m spending blitz over the last year.

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Stephen Docherty (l) and sales director Tony Campbell celebrate the property deal

The 2,787sqm single-storey industrial unit, five minutes from its base in Glasgow will initially be used for storage. Managing director Stephen Docherty said the building may in time come to house digital machines and case binding, which the company is looking to move into.

“I'm still a little undecided what to do: we are very tight for space and have a large storage of paper here and at other sites including the docks,” he said. “It would be more cost effective and organised to have it all at Bell & Bain.”

He said the company was looking at buying another press, probably an eight-colour KBA 145, which could go in towards the end of next year, and case binding kit for a total investment of around £4m.

The company already runs two KBA 142 Rapida machines, a KBA Rapida 75, a Heidelberg Speedmaster SM52-4L and a Heidelberg LinoPrint Digital Printer for short run text and covers. 

“Things are going extremely well,” said Docherty who is looking at Muller Martini and Kolbus binding kit. “We should hit £10m turnover this year and expect £11m or £12m next. We aim to increase our staff by 10 to reach 100 by the middle of next year across printing, binding, admin and accounts.”

Two months ago Bell & Bain took delivery of the world's first Fujifilm Jet Press 540W colour inkjet web press as part of a £5m spend last year. The 100m-per-minute machine, he said, “is wonderful, better than anything I've ever seen; it's crystal clear, there are no lines”.

The new warehouse, on Lawmoor Street in the Dixons Blazes neighbourhood, was sold by Colliers International and joint agent Neil Munro Property Consultants. Colliers' director of industrial and logistics Iain Davidson said Bell & Bain was a Glasgow institution.

“It continues to be an important supplier of printing and binding services,” he said. “Dixons Blazes offers an excellent central location for the company, with easy access to both Glasgow city centre and central Scotland.”

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