Case Study - Design Xpress

Print supplier Design Xpress has been based in Consett for 25 years and in that time has grown rapidly from a sole trader entity to a company with a £1.1m turnover.

To accommodate the increased demand on its services and to facilitate continued growth, the company moved to new larger premises in 2015 and then employed 11 people. They have recently extended the team to 13 following this project.

However, in a fast-paced industry with new technology regularly coming to market, the print machinery used by the company quickly became outdated.

Design Xpress approached the County Durham Growth Fund for capital support to enable it to invest in a new fixed flatbed (Jetrix Lxi7) machine and high-speed high-quality roll to roll device (Oce Colorado1650).

The new technology would be more energy efficient and cheaper to run, allowing the company to invest in other areas of the business.

Another benefit from this device would be the addition of white ink which would open up further products such as double-sided window graphics and specialist acrylics or layering techniques – currently the company turns down work as it has no spot white capabilities.

Director Juliette Brown said: “This investment from the County Durham Growth Fund will significantly strengthen our business, enabling us to secure work which previously we have had to refuse.

“It will also allow us to recruit four new members of staff which will enable us to grow through the acquisition of new clients.”

Through print management, Design Xpress currently counts the likes of the NHS, MOD, Crown Commercial Services, Wetherspoon, British Heart Foundation among its vast portfolio of clients.

The County Durham Growth Fund is managed by UMi on behalf of Business Durham and part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Sarah Slaven, Interim Managing Director of Business Durham, said: “Design Xpress is a rapidly expanding business with its roots firmly in County Durham so I’m delighted that we’re able to support the company in the next phase of its growth journey.”

Simon Allen, Investment Centre Director at UMi, said: “Our investment will enable Design Xpress to attract new clients and help the company achieve its ambitious growth plans at its Consett facility.”

Printing machine