Leach secures largest ever contract in 125th year

By Richard Stuart-Turner, Thursday 22 September 2016

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Large-format graphics specialist Leach has secured its most lucrative contract to date – a £2.5m assignment for a major heritage project – in the year it celebrates its 125th anniversary.

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(L-R) Leach director Jim Parkin and managing director Richard Leach

The Bradley, West Yorkshire-based firm has already started work on the job, which will see a 20-strong team from Leach spend 18 months producing a new visitor experience for the National Museum of Kuwait.

Leach managing director Richard Leach told PrintWeek: “We’ve got a strong reputation and a good track record in delivering large heritage graphic products into the Middle East.

“The UK has got a very well-established industry-leading supply chain into the heritage market - designing museums and fitting museums out - and we’re part of that. I think our market reputation and track record put us in a very strong position to capitalise on this particular one.”

The company’s other clients include BMW, Topshop, The National Trust, English Heritage, the British Museum and the National Museum of Oman.

“The scope of work that we’ve taken on has broadened over the past decade and I think that’s one of the things that is driving the contract values higher today than they were seven or eight years ago,” said Leach.

“We’re a large-format graphics specialist but we’ve tried to position ourselves much wider than that across various industry boundaries.”

He added: “We’ve got an excellent project management team, our own installation team and site management team who will go out to the destination country to do the site and project management and installation on-site. We’ve also become more creative in terms of offering interpretation and artworking and translation services into these kinds of projects.”

“Additionally, we’ve created a range of graphic display structures and graphic display illumination that we produce as well, which are also part of the contract installed by the team over there. So the graphics are being displayed on structures and with illumination that is designed and manufactured by Leach.”

In the past 12 months family-run Leach, which is set to turnover around £11m in 2016, has recruited an additional 23 members of staff - taking its total headcount to 92 - formed a new management team and invested more than £250,000 in new product development.

It has also spent a further £750,000 on new technology, including the Durst Rho 512R that it signed for at Fespa Digital in March and took delivery of in May.

Over the next 12 months the business is projecting 15% further organic growth, will create at least nine more jobs and will expand its existing 2,788sqm headquarters. It will also launch several new products and invest a further £250,000 in product development.

“The company has grown each year for the past seven years and we’ve got a plan to continue to grow,” said Leach.

“We think we should be able to achieve that but we find that the management requirement is growing faster than the turnover of the company because we’re taking on more complex and demanding contracts.

“We’ve been building our management team to make sure we can continue to deliver high levels of customer satisfaction when we’re growing in both volume terms and complexity terms. That’s the management challenge and that’s what’s drawn in quite a lot of the new members of staff into the team.”

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