Leeds move is 'growth solution’ for OPM Labels

A print packaging and labelling company has relocated its operations to newly refurbished premises in Leeds, with help from a £90K grant from the Leeds City Region business growth programme.

OPM (Labels and Packaging) Group, run by husband and wife team Chris and Susan Ellison, completed the move from bases in Bradford and Keighley to the 56,000 sq ft manufacturing plant, located on Gelderd Road, Leeds, in December, as they aim to double turnover of the £9.4 million business over the next six years.

In the process they have invested upwards of £2 million in the relocation, premises fit out and new equipment. Centrepiece of the Leeds operation is a brand new FA-6 printing line, manufactured by NilPeter.

The new machine uses the latest electronically-controlled technology to print flexible packaging, sachets, films, laminates and self-adhesive labels for the food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, health, beauty, automotive and dietary markets.

A grant of £90,000 was received towards the cost of the £1.1 million machine – the only one of its kind in Europe – through the business growth programme administered by Leeds City Council’s business support team.

The £20 million business growth programme was set up with Government backing to help businesses like OPM Group expand and create employment. In just three months the workforce has grown from 55 to 69 but Chris and Sue Ellison see scope for further expansion in both the business and the workforce

Cllr Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s lead member for development and the economy said:

“Leeds has always been a major regional and national centre for the printing industry, with a highly skilled workforce, and it is great to see OPM Group building on that skills base to grow the business and create new employment.”

Managing director Chris Ellison said:

“One of the key attractions of Leeds is a ready-made workforce with people who have worked in the industry. Although we’ve had to do a lot of retraining because of the specialist nature of what we do, the biggest factor in moving was the ability to recruit.

“The FA-6 enables us to offer additional services to our clients. It combines unrivalled speed and accuracy with the ability to print at larger packaging sizes and will handle a greater range of materials.

“Long term there’s room to bring in another four printing lines, with the potential to take the business to a turnover of £25 million at the new location.”

Roger Marsh, chair of the Leeds City Region enterprise partnership said:

“The printing industry is fiercely competitive and continuous innovation is a vital ingredient in driving growth. As OPM Group demonstrates, success ultimately depends on developing new solutions to meet changing consumer habits and the requirement of new markets. This demands continued investment in people, skills, technology and processes, which we are delighted to have been able to support.”

Notes for editors

1. Pictured: managing director Chris Ellison and commercial director Susan Ellison at the new Leeds plant of OPM Group.

2. The Leeds City Region business growth programme is a £25 million fund supported by the Government’s regional growth fund. It offers grants of between £10,000 and £1 million to support business expansion and employment creation. Already, more than 200 SMEs have been assisted through the programme, which will help to create over 2,000 jobs. For more information, call 0113 247 5401 or email: businesssupport@leeds.gov.uk

3. Media contacts:

David Baggaley, Marketing Manager, Leeds City Council

T: 0113 247 7851

E: david.baggaley@leeds.gov.uk

or contact Leeds City Council press office on 0113 395 0244