£2.4m printing firm expansion to create 41 new jobs

A £2.4million expansion by South Wales printing company Gardners will lead to 41 new jobs and new opportunities for the firm which counts numerous blue chip companies amongst its clients.

The investment, supported by a £300,000 loan from Finance Wales – a wholly owned subsidiary company of the Welsh Assembly Government created to provide commercial funding to Welsh SMEs - and a Regional Selective Assistance Grant from the Assembly Government as part of a larger funding package including Bank of Scotland, will allow the company to move from its current premises in Hadfield Road, Cardiff, to a larger 60,000sq ft facility at Pentwyn, Cardiff.

The company has already invested heavily in the latest digital printing technology over the last 6 years, and plans to utilise the expansion to bring in additional new printing technologies that will enhance its product range further. Gardners, which was established in 1979 and currently employs 98 people, provides a range of digital printing solutions to customers. The company’s competitive edge is based on its ability to offer a just in time industrial scale digital printing capability using a wide range of environmentally friendly and recyclable materials. This allows Gardners to react quickly to increasing customer demand for speed of turnaround and “green” solutions when compared to traditional printing methods.

It has seen its turnover nearly double to £8.6m over the past three years and anticipates further growth. The company received a loan from Finance Wales during its previous investment round in 2005 as it embarked on this period of strong growth. With clients including Scottish & Newscastle, JC Decaux and Tesco, the firm provides a range of services, including outdoor media and banners, point of sale advertising, and bespoke services, which require an innovative approach.

“We have a large and diverse range of niche products and services thanks to the latest digital printing presses we’ve invested in. This means we can turn-around jobs very fast but with the utmost quality which is what our clients require. This approach, combined with our focus on being innovative, is why we’ve won new work from some of the UK’s top retailers, among others,” said company founder and Managing Director, Richard Gardner.

He added: “This is our second round of investment in recent years and highlights our commitment to providing the best possible service to new and existing clients. The move to new premises will help to consolidate our current three sites and allow us to bring in additional digital printing equipment that will allow us to grow further.”

Andrew Davies, Minister for Enterprise, Innovation and Networks, said: “Gardners is a good example of a company investing in new technology in order to grow. It had the foresight to realise that digital technology would be the way of the future within the competitive UK printing sector and has reaped the rewards of this investment.”

He added: “With the latest expansion supported by Finance Wales and the Welsh Assembly Government the company will be able to grow further and investment in additional new technology to create new employment opportunities.”

Simon Williams, Senior Investment Executive at Finance Wales, said: “Gardners’ success in attracting new clients in recent years has meant that it has outgrown its Hadfield Road site. The move to new premises, combined with the purchase of new digital printing equipment will allow the company to build on its current customer base and maximise new sales opportunities. All of this has been achieved through an on-going commitment to innovation and customer service. We’re pleased to be supporting Gardners with this latest investment, which builds on our existing relationship, and highlights Finance Wales’ strength in providing SMEs with growth funding solutions.”

The loan provided by Finance Wales utilises European Objective 2 funds.