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Company responds to demand through Diversification

Created on Friday, 18th Jun 2021

Company responds to demand through Diversification

County Durham based company Newton Press, successfully launches new products to meet PPE demand after receiving support from Supply Chain North East.

Established in 1963 by the late Syd Howarth MBE, Newton Press is a family run business publishing and printing “The Newton News” and specialising in all commercial printing services and products. The company prides itself on providing quality products at competitive prices whilst also ensuring they do their part for the environment through their extensive Eco-Friendly print processes and materials used.

Like many businesses, Newton Press has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and met with a sudden loss of demand for products and services. Identifying an opportunity to pivot their business and meet an ongoing demand the company decided to diversify their business to produce PPE screen guards and supply these to a range of B2B customers including local businesses, NHS and Care Homes.

To successfully produce the screen guards, the company required modifications made to their current equipment which would allow them to transition production smoothly and allow key changes to be made which would greatly improve efficiency, quality and minimise costs.  This would allow them to offer a range of screen guards suited to business needs and preference, and with existing print facilities, the company are able to offer clients the ability to brand them up with logos or instructions.

Through Supply Chain North East, Newton Press were able to tap into the Capital grant funding that was made available to companies that could support supply chain needs relating to the health and social care sectors. This allowed the company to fund the modifications to the equipment and bring back a number of employees that were furloughed.

Stuart Howarth, Director of Newton Press adds:

“We are very grateful to Supply Chain North East for the support to upgrade our equipment. It has played a major part in recovering sales and moving forward”.

John Heslop, Supply Chain North East – Business Advisor adds:

“Newton Press are a well-established company and well-known throughout the County Durham area for their quality products, excellent customer service and traditional family values. The company suffered, like many others, due to the devastating impact on sales as a direct result of the Covid-19 crisis and took a major decision to diversify their product range through investing in the adaptation of core machinery.

"Supply Chain North East was happy to support the company with grant funding as this would then enable Newton Press to produce, amongst other items, PPE faceguards. The UK has a major challenge in ensuring sufficient levels of PPE are available to cope with the ongoing Covid-19 crisis and Newton Press are doing their part in helping to meet this challenge."

Supply Chain North East brings together four key partners to work with over 800 businesses through to 2021, supporting them to identify opportunities in new and existing markets. An integral part of the North East Strategic Economic Plan, that has a vision to create 100,000 more and better jobs between 2014 and 2024. Supply Chain North East is delivered across the region by RTC North, Generator, North East Automotive Alliance (NEAA) and North East Process Industry Cluster (NEPIC).

Supply Chain North East is a multimillion programme aimed at revolutionising the way SMEs diversify their offering and embrace new markets. The programme has received more than £3m of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund, which is part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.

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