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Sun, May

Fespa UK Association has been around (in various guises) since 1934, providing business, technical and legal guidance, educational services and events and networking opportunities to digital wide-format, screen and specialist PSPs - and to suppliers. Carol Swift took over the helm from Peter Kiddell last summer. Now she’s settled into the role - and given it’s show season - I took the opportunity to ask her how the association is representing the large-format sector, and to comment on hot topics like business confidence and investment plans.

By Lesley Simpson

Money talks. So what have you been hearing about R&D Tax Credits? That it’s an incentive out of your reach? Don’t be too dismissive. Innovation can and does pay, as the likes of Signbox and Augustus Martin will testify. So can you too get a tax rebate on your development work, or is it too much hassle for the pay-back? I met with Adam Kene, MD of London-based R&D tax incentive advisory Kene Partners for the heads-up.

By Lesley Simpson

It’s Heimtextil in January, an event that gets those involved in textiles all excited. But you don’t have to go Frankfurt to do that crucial job of networking - you can go online to TexIntel, Never heard of it? Well perhaps you should because it was founded by Debbie McKeegan, a designer with more than 25 years experience in textile design, buying, sales and manufacturing - including an in-depth knowledge of digital print. Her aim is to bring creatives and PSPs together. Sound useful? I met her to talk about the project, and how she thinks the relationship between creatives and printers can be improved. 

By Lesley Simpson

On 10 October Fespa UK is hosting the conference ‘The Future of Print i4.0’ at the Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry. But who will be there, and should you be? Image Reports’ own Widthwise Survey - conducted among 151 of the UK and Ireland’s large-format PSPs at the start of this year - showed that only 5 of them had invested in i4.0 technology over the last 12 months. Those who hadn’t were asked if they would be doing so in 2018. The answer? A big fat 0. So, what’s going on? I spoke with Fespa UK Association’s Peter Kiddell for his take.

By Lesley Simpson

Earlier this year Huddersfield-based Leach was acquired by French-owned Chargeurs, a materials manufacturing and services group based in 34 countries across five continents and operating in four segments - temporary surface protection, garment interlinings, technical substrates and combed wool. So how’s that going to impact Leach as the Brexit deadline looms? I asked Richard Leach who, as head of what was a family firm, was responsible for finding the new owner.

By Lesley Simpson

It Has To Be Brilliant calls itself a ‘pioneering cross-media production agency’ that does everything from web design, digital campaigns, bespoke photography, illustration and graphic design through to print and installation of ‘creative environments and exhibitions’ as well as packaging, direct mail, promotional goods.., oh, and now it sells cakes…and houses and… other stuff. Sounds like diversification gone mad? I put that exact question directly to founder and MD Simon Tabelin.

By Lesley Simpson

News of an MBO at North-East-based Simpsons Group came in February. The move saw well-known chairman Mark Simpson and his shareholding brother and sister exit the business formed in 1972 by Bill Simpson. Bill McNally (MD) and John Quinn (finance director) have stayed on to “lead the new management team through a period of transition” but in August the new management team takes over. So how will an MBO affect what was a family business? I asked new commercial director Mark Jerrard.

By Lesley Simpson

The first Pure Digital event will take place in Amsterdam in April. Organised by former Fespa men and InPrint founders Frazer Chesterman and Marcus Timson of FM Brooks, it aims to ‘excite the European creative industry with truly innovative digitally printed applications.’ Great idea, but will it work, and should you be involved? Here’s what Chesterman had to say…

By Lesley Simpson

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