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We’ve got a great team now and looking ahead this year, for us it’s about building on what we have, and then expanding with new orders and further investment at the right times to propel this business forward in this new space.

Stuart Howarth

Sales Director

Newton Press, a family-owned print firm that celebrated 60 years in business in 2023, is looking ahead to a year of growth after receiving grant support from the County Durham Growth Fund.


Newton Press has invested in new cladding, windows, and equipment at its Newton Aycliffe headquarters to help improve productivity and energy efficiency.


The new investments in print technology allow all print processes to now be digital over pre-existing slower manual operations.


These improvements have enabled the team to bring in orders of all sizes and provide flexibility on future print runs, which Sales Director Stuart Howarth believes is critical to its long-term profitability.


Stuart, who along with his two brothers, took over the running of the business in 1992 from their father, said: “I think the Covid pandemic has definitely changed the way firms get their materials printed, but because of the investment we’ve made in new machinery, we have managed to adapt.


“For example, firms are generally only ordering printing in the quantities they need rather than big batch orders which might sit in their office for months. That’s not a problem though as it actually stops machine congestion and helps keep production free and available for the inevitable urgent jobs we receive daily.


“We’ve got a great team now and looking ahead this year, for us it’s about building on what we have, and then expanding with new orders and further investment at the right times to propel this business forward in this new space.”


Newton Press dates back to 1963 when the late Syd Howarth MBE moved to Newton Aycliffe. Syd started the business providing a book repair service which due to demand quickly evolved into print, and today the company has a vast portfolio of clients, with much of their print work being shipped outside of County Durham.


Speaking about the support the business has received from the County Durham Growth Fund, Stuart added: “The condition of the building was significantly impacting our productivity levels and overhead costs, which in turn was hampering our ability to expand.


“Likewise, some of our equipment was outdated and holding us back, but with the help of the County Durham Growth Fund we have been able to invest in new cladding, windows and machinery which will support our plans for the coming months and years.”


The County Durham Growth Fund is managed by Business Durham in partnership with UMi and is supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). All successful grant applications are appraised by UNW LLP, an independent firm of chartered accountants and business advisers.


Sarah Slaven, Managing Director of Business Durham, said: “The grant support awarded will really improve productivity at Newton Press’ facility, enabling the company to secure larger contracts, provide a more flexible service and really stabilise and then grow the business after a tough couple of years.”


Simon Allen, investment centre director at UMI, added: “The County Durham Growth Fund is here to support family businesses like Newton Press, which have their roots firmly in the county and are looking to cement their long-term futures with investment and job creation.”


Lara Marshall, corporate finance manager at UNW, said: “Newton Press is now in a much stronger position thanks to the County Durham Growth Fund grant. The building’s energy efficiency has been improved with the new cladding and windows and the machines which the company has purchased mean they can work in a faster and more flexible way.”


Newton Press provides print services for everything from flyers to magazines, newsletters, pens, mugs, signage and banner stands, pretty much everything that you need printing.

Family-owned print firm looks to year of growth after grant support

Family-owned print firm looks to year of growth after grant support

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