Sketchbook firm outlines growth

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A specialist manufacturer of sketchbooks for students has invested £350,000 in a move to Barnsley, where it aims to increase production four-fold over the next five years.

Pink Pig relocated its entire 23-strong workforce to larger premises at Dodworth Business Park, from its former base 10 miles away at Emley, near Huddersfield.

Managing director Nick Wilson said: “We’ve moved to consolidate our whole operation and update, streamline and expand production.”

The firm produces 700,000 sketchbooks a year but aims to ramp that up to more than 3m in five years.

The company has invested £200,000 in new punching and binding equipment and its staff – including two apprentices – has moved with them from Emley.

Plans are in place to create seven jobs before the end of 2016.

The manufacturer, which has a £1.4m turnover, was established by Nick 23 years ago.

It now sells a range of sketchbooks to 1,700 secondary schools and colleges across the UK.

Its move was supported by Enterprising Barnsley.

Nick added: “Every art student needs a good sketchbook and schools need to be able to supply them.

“We meet that demand and our catalogues are sent to heads of art at state and private schools from Inverness to Penzance.”

The firm also sells through art shops and direct to artists across the UK and overseas via its own website and e-commerce channels such as Amazon.

It currently has distribution facilities in Germany, France and the USA and plans to expand these into Brazil, Spain, Italy, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Export represents two per cent of trade.