Northside Graphics is targeting accelerated growth by embarking on a fresh round of kit investment supported by HSBC.
The Belfast-based company, which includes brands DigitalPrinting.co.uk and TradeDigitalPrint.co.uk, has used a £260,000 funding package from HSBC, plus an additonal self-funded £200,000, to push forward with a major expansion.
The company has installed an HP Indigo 7r digital press, as well as more finishing equipment including a Morgana PUR binder. The kit was installed earlier this month.
It has also revamped its premises with a new 260sqm mezzanine to free up more space for production, and updated its website. These were the latest enhancements from an ongoing investing relationship with the bank.
“We are just growing and growing at the moment so we need our new equipment in order to keep up with the massive demand,” said managing director Gary White. “It was a very easy decision in the end, and very much worth it.
“It’s an exciting time for Northside Graphics as we see our customer base continue to grow and we begin to establish an international footprint. Central to this has been HSBC’s understanding of our business plan which has seen us revamp our sales strategies and support subsequent demand with the purchase of additional printers.”
Over the past three years, HSBC has invested £2m into Northside as part of the bank’s small and medium business enterprise (SME) fund – which has distributed £10bn to SMEs across the UK, with £100m specifically designated for Northern Ireland.
Northside has used the money over the years to purchase its three prior HP Indigo presses, one of which was another 7r, as well as developing an online sales platform. Over the period the strategic shift has doubled Northside's sales to £4.5m.
This has largely been achieved by the business exporting its services more widely throughout the UK and other countries such as Ireland, Norway, France and Holland for international growth.
The company also doubled its staff size to a team of 44. According to White, the aim is to increase the staff to 50 members by the second quarter of 2018.
In recognition of it's growth, the company has been shortlisted in the SME of the Year category of the 2017 PrintWeek Awards.
‘We are absolutely thrilled to have made it to the finals and it has made the entire team very proud of what we achieved so far," said White.
"We believe we are only in our infancy online and are looking forward to the challenge of the years ahead."
The PrintWeek Awards winners will be unveiled at the gala awards dinner on 16 October at London's Grosvenor House, Park Lane.
To see the full shorlist and reserve your place, visit printweekawards.com.