PP Direct relocates, plans to set up new services

By Rhys Handley, Tuesday 18 September 2018

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Production Print (PP) Direct has relocated to Vision Park, a high-spec business space in Lancashire.

mike-ashforth-pp-direct

Ashforth: "SMEs are divesting from litho and we want to exploit that"

The digital print equipment supplier spent around £50,000 moving from its previous base in Haslingden to the Burnley site, and is now preparing to launch an office print-focused brand to complement its production print offerings.

PP Direct has set up a showroom at the 232sqm, purpose-built premises in which to display equipment, such as the Develop Ineo+ 3070 cut-sheet printer and Mimaki’s UJF-3042 flatbed alongside a wide range of wide-format and finishing technology.

The company, which officially began operation at the new site on 1 August, will launch its new brand Office Print Direct in November this year.

Managing director Mike Ashforth said: “This investment was all about the space and the facilities – we looked at various places around Lancashire but this really stood out when it became apparent it would be available last December.

“It has excellent transport and road connections, as well as proximity to Burnley College and the University of Central Lancashire university campus, which will give us access to a new generation of young people who could join our team in the near future.

“We are seeing a dedicated drive among print companies to replace ageing litho equipment with a combination of in-house digital technology and trade print – we see examples of this on a monthly basis as SMEs are divesting from litho. This new base allows us to position ourselves nicely to make the most of that market, as well as growing our office print side.”

The total space acquired by PP Direct covers 372sqm, with the excess 140sqm comprising a mezzanine area which the company can expand into as and when it requires. Ashforth said he hopes to see the firm’s £1.5m turnover double in two years.

Recruitment plans are set to see the nine-strong team grow to around 15 members of staff in a few years. The first new recruit will be sales director David Earnshaw, who joins from business consultant Maintel Europe, while future new additions will fill space in installation and servicing, sales, admin and marketing.

Vision Park, a 12,000sqm development, is a B1 business park constructed last year as a collaboration between Burnley Council and Trebor Developments valued at £3.9m.

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