Huddersfield-based Leach has secured its largest ever contract – part of the world’s biggest heritage project – in the year it celebrates its 125th anniversary.
Work has begun on the £2.5m assignment, which will see a 20-strong Leach team spend 18 months producing a new visitor experience for the National Museum of Kuwait. Whilst Leach is no stranger to international success, particularly in the Middle East, the project signifies the company’s most lucrative contract win to date.
Specialising in creating graphic displays that transform brand and visitor environments, the business has grown from a one-man photographic studio established in 1891, to a 92-strong, £10m turnover organisation. And, it seems, this latest project signifies the next phase of growth for this globally-renowned, family-run company.
Managing director Richard Leach said: “The past 12 months have been incredibly significant for us. We’ve recruited an additional 23 members of staff, formed a new management team, invested over £250,000 in new product development and ploughed a further £750,000 into new technology.
“This has coincided with a company rebrand which has brought greater clarity to our three sub-divisions – Leach Impact which creates wow factor environments for brands, retailers and trade shows; Leach Inspire which brings stories to life in global museums, heritage sites and visitor attractions; and Leach Studio which provides creative interpretation plus 3D and graphic design for UK heritage projects.
“But you don’t enjoy 125 years in business without being progressive,” Richard continued. “So, as we look ahead to the next 12 months, we’re projecting 15 per cent further organic growth, expansion of our 30,000sqft headquarters, the creation of at least 9 more jobs, several significant product launches and an additional £250,000 product development investment.”
Elaborating upon the newly-secured Kuwait project, director Jim Parkin added: “Whilst our overseas expansion first started 15 years ago, it took around 3 years to prove we could deliver the vast design, production and installation projects that the international heritage sector demanded. However, diversification into this sector – as well as our continued push in the UK retail and commercial market – ultimately secured the survival of our business, when many competing print firms succumbed to the pressures of the recession.
“Because our reputation has grown throughout our three core sectors, we’re now approached to work on contracts the length and breadth of the UK as well as overseas, in countries ranging from Norway to Nigeria. These locations bring their challenges of course, but our varied in-house expertise and commitment to customer service means we relish the projects other suppliers shy away from.”
Originally located in Brighouse, Huddersfield, Leach moved to new purpose-built premises in Bradley, just 2 miles from the company’s first site, in 2005. Client names include BMW, Topshop, The National Trust, English Heritage, the British Museum and the National Museum of Oman.