80-year-old Hartlepool printing business looks to future after sale

A long-running Hartlepool printing business is looking to the future after being bought by new owners.

Atkinson Print in Church Street, which is 80 years old, has been acquired by husband and wife entrepreneurs Richard and Julie Bennett from Consett.

Back row left-right: Alex Wilby of Swinburne Maddison, David Wilson of Clive Owen, Craig Malarkey of Tilly Bailey & Irvine and Angus Allan of Clive Owen. Front left-right Adrian Liddell (former owner) and new owners Julie and Richard Bennett.

Back row left-right: Alex Wilby of Swinburne Maddison, David Wilson of Clive Owen, Craig Malarkey of Tilly Bailey & Irvine and Angus Allan of Clive Owen. Front left-right Adrian Liddell (former owner) and new owners Julie and Richard Bennett.

The business has built up a strong reputation as a successful lithographic and digital commercial printer.

They produce everything from flyers and office stationery to full colour brochures and books for clients across a wide range of sectors, including manufacturing, retail and local government, solicitors and accountants.

Richard and Julie looked at Atkinson Print after recently buying Newcastle Print Solutions (NPS) and wanted to develop their growing printing portfolio.

Atkinson Print is named after the original founder Austin F Atkinson who ran the business for its first 40 years before being taken over by the Liddell family who have ran for the last four decades.

Former owner Adrian Liddell said it is business as usual with the name, himself and staff all remaining.

He said: “Richard and Julie are committed to being in the town and want to grow the business.

“We felt it was ready for fresh investment and ideas which is what they have got.

“We are hoping Richard and Julie will take the business forward for another 40 years and to enable it to provide a better and wider service offer to its customers.”

Richard and Julie have a wealth of experience in business management, having founded Derwentside Environmental Testing in 1999, and owned and ran Gateshead Football Club for three successful years before selling to a Hong Kong-based business.

Richard said: “The appeal of Atkinson Print really was because it’s a well-established business and in an ideal location for us.

“We have just really got into the print game over the last 12 months and having bought a place in Newcastle we were keen to find something else in the local region.”

Chartered accountants and business advisers Clive Owen LLP which advised Richard and Julie in the acquisition of the Newcastle acquisition helped in the deal with Atkinson Print.

David Wilson from Clive Owen LLP added: “This deal is a perfect opportunity for them to expand into Teesside, in addition to their Newcastle business and we are delighted to be part of their growing success.”