• L-Pac Packaging Solutions Ltd

    L-Pac Packaging Solutions Ltd

    L-Pac was established in November 2020 by co-founders Eleanor Gray and Ben Cooper. The company provides packaging solutions for a diverse range of businesses across several sectors including eCommerce, automotive, engineering and manufacturing, furniture, distribution and many more.

    The L-Pac team collectively have over 100 years of industry experience. During their careers, they have witnessed many regionally based packaging companies acquired by larger national businesses leaving buyers with less choice for locally based packaging suppliers and in turn leaving a gap in the market for a company like L-Pac in a growing market.

    By November 2020 L-Pac was incorporated, a lease was signed on a new distribution facility on Belmont Industrial Estate in Durham, the warehouse started to fill with stock and they began to draw upon their industry knowledge and contacts to get the business off the ground.

    Eleanor expands: “During the pandemic, we were able to help a lot of North East businesses challenged with major supply issues, due to shortages throughout the industry. These circumstances really helped to springboard our business resulting in L-Pac breaking even in month six, growing much quicker than we envisioned.”

    Durham Business Opportunities Programme (DBOP) support

    L-Pac signed up for the DBOP Engineering and Manufacturing Programme within their first year of trading. The programme is designed to help County Durham businesses overcome barriers to sales and win new contracts within the engineering and manufacturing sector. Support includes exhibition space at the annual Engineering and Manufacturing Conference (EMCON), one of the UK’s biggest engineering and manufacturing shows, as well as a series of workshops, 1-2-1 support sessions and marketing materials to help businesses maximise sales opportunities when exhibiting.

    The support helped L-Pac to prepare for EMCON, the workshop focussed on sales tactics and marketing was particularly useful as Eleanor explains: “I was very familiar with EMCON in a past life when working for larger businesses and understood the value it could bring to our business. We felt it was a great opportunity for our young business to get our name out there. As a result of exhibiting at EMCON through the DBOP programme, we’ve won two new customers and have several still in the pipeline, which is a great result.”

    Additional Business Durham support

    Once businesses graduate from the DBOP programme, Business Durham, who manage DBOP are on hand to offer additional support. For L-Pac that support came from DBOP Business Engagement Officer Guy Bashford. Guy introduced L-Pac to another ERDF funded business support programme managed Digital Drive County Durham, helping small businesses across County Durham do more with digital.

    Digital Drive County Durham provided L-Pac with funding to purchase hardware for new recruits, they are helping with a project to develop a brand new eCommerce website and have also funded CAD software and hardware to enable L-Pac to design prototypes and packaging solutions in house.

    Guy and the DBOP team have been working with L-Pac to overcome barriers to growth. Because the company has grown so quickly they need new warehousing facilities to cope with demand and services, and Guy has been very helpful in terms of finding a solution to that challenge.

    Guy invited Elanor to become part of the East Durham Network, which the company have found very useful giving them the opportunity to network with like-minded business owners in the area.

    Guy added: “After a business has participated in a programme such as the DBOP Engineering and Manufacturing Programme, Business Durham continue to build a relationship. We are here to help deliver long term business sustainability and growth across County Durham. A large part of our role is to help companies like L-Pac achieve their full potential helping businesses find the most relevant funding, property and other support.”

    What does the future hold for L-Pac?

    In the short term, L-Pac intends to recruit more staff, double turnover in year two and expand into new premises in both North East and North West locations. Looking ahead to long term ambitions the company mission is to be the most successful independently owned packaging business in the North of England.

    When asked about advice for other businesses considering participating in the 2022 DBOP Engineering and Manufacturing Programme Elanor commented: “If businesses have ambitions to widen their exposure in the area, they should seriously consider the DBOP programme and the EMCON event. It can be hard to find the time and there have to be certain sacrifices when partaking in such a programme, but we found that decision to be very valuable and we’re very pleased that we made the jump in our first year of trading rather than pushing the opportunity down the road.”