A graphics company launched by two men as part of Blackpool Council’s Get Started scheme is aiming to be a cut above.
Links Signs and Graphics is investing in new production machinery to grow the business further.
Founded by Shaun Bennett and Philip Kingdom in 2007, it now employs eight and boasts blue chip companies such as Merlin, Littlewoods, Blackpool Zoo and the NHS among its clients.
It produces a variety of signs and graphics from banners and flags to lightbox signs and exhibition display and is responsible for the huge 47m long banner covering the outside of the Sea Life Centre in Blackpool and signs on South Pier and Barton Grange.
It started out in a small industrial unit if Cocker Street but in 2011 had grown so much it moved to larger premises at Hoo Hill in Bispham. Now it has acquired a Zund L2500 – a flatbed cutting, routing and finishing machine which can cost up to £137,000 new.
Shaun, who has since bought out his partner and owns the business, said the signs industry was changing and old barriers were blurring and companies needed to be more flexible and able to carry out many roles.
He said: “We have printing equipment and make signs in the traditional way if necessary but the way the world has gone means that clients want less expensive solutions but the same big impact.”
He said the new machine enables them to mount their printed work on board of any shape for indoor and outdoor use.
So work which had to be subcontracted out can now be carried out in house giving them more control over the finished product.
It will also allow them to move into new fields such as packaging and point of sale materials and it is flexible enough to precision cut a variety of materials from wood to metal and plastic.
He said, “The Zund represents a considerable investment for LSG, but one that I feel is well timed.
“We have a reputation for quality that the Zund will help us build upon, but it’s perhaps the extension to the services we can offer that’s the most exciting aspect to consider.
“We’ve a big enough appetite, with the business we’re already doing, to occupy the Zund profitably, but, it’s such a productive system, we will be able to call on the other talents and capabilities it has to offer too.”