• Our Story

    Written Over 50 Years…..

Printing throughout our history, since 1969

1969 is remembered by many as the year man first walked on the moon, Concorde first flew and the Beatles released their Abbey Road album. But it was also the year that Stephen Tew and John Newbold established Midland Regional Printers (MRP) in Nottingham and the award-winning firm is enjoying over 50 years in the printing trade.

Times have certainly changed for Nottingham Printers, MRP – located in the Basford area of Nottingham – since Managing Director Stephen opened its doors for business in September 1969. In those days, the firm employed just three staff at its original premises on Lowdham Street in Nottingham city centre. “We started out in a 2,000 square foot workshop doing jobs for local companies” recalls Stephen. “As the business expanded, we moved offices several times before settling into our current location on Nottingham Road.”

MRP now occupies over 50,000 square feet and employs 65 staff. MRP is listed in the top 500 UK printing companies and provides a diverse range of lithographic, flexographic and digital printing services to a number of market-leading national corporations as well as smaller local businesses. MRP has been a major print supplier to the UK government and in 2008 was awarded the printing contract for the much-publicised “Real Meals” cookery book Commissioned by Children, Schools and Families secretary Ed Balls, “Real Meals” is part of a major Government incentive to encourage youngsters to learn to cook and eat more healthily. MRP was proud to be playing a key role in this important project that is helping to ensure a healthier future for today’s kids.

Stephen decided to set up MRP after working for several years in his father’s printing business which was based in Nottingham’s Broadmarsh area (before the current shopping centre was built). Back in 1969, the printing business was a different world with everything done on the premises rather than being outsourced, which is usually the case today. However, MRP is unusual amongst modern printers in that they still carry out 95% of work in-house. This includes non-printing tasks such as die-cutting, gluing and most hand finishing that may be required to complete a job.

Stephen believes that this “one stop shop” service has been the key to their continued growth and success over the last 48 years, commenting: “We take the time to understand each client’s unique requirements and the specifications of the individual product. Our skilled and experienced staff can provide as much or as little guidance as they need: from simply printing existing designs to offering advice and creating concepts and CAD designs from scratch. From materials and colours to foiling and finishing, it’s all about finding the right format for the job in hand.

It’s a very personal service, too, with our clients involved at every stage (if they want to be!) We’ll invite them in to discuss progress and see for themselves how their packaging and labels are taking shape. They can even “press the button” on their own print and finishing jobs if they like.”

Although MRP is maintaining the tradition of in-house printing, it has moved with the times in other areas such as environmental issues. All of the paper used is certified by bodies such as the Forest Stewardship Council and they contribute to the tree-planting schemes run by the Carbon Footprint organisation. MRP also helps its clients show their own customers their commitment to eco-friendly working by providing clients with a special environmental logo that they can display. Please see the ‘Environment’ page to see our commitment to the environment.

In 2017, MRP made some major investments to make sure they could keep meeting and exceeding their clients’ expectations. Their first acquisition was a Heidelberg XL B1 press, which has increased print capacity and enabled MRP to offer a greater variety of packaging options. This was followed by an Easy Matrix Die Cutter and a Flexo Bar Graphics Rewinder. Both these machines will run alongside existing plant to boost capacity for shaping and cutting packaging and labels.

Another important investment was a new management information system called Imprint. This is a Windows-based, fully-automated workflow system that gives MRP more control and transparency across every area of their business, from job creation and production management, through to cost control and invoicing.

“Our investments in 2017 show that MRP are serious about giving our clients the best possible quality and service,” says Catherine. “We firmly believe there’s an even brighter future ahead for us. Our new systems and equipment are the springboard we need to push our business onwards and upwards in 2018 and beyond”.

Business might be booming at MRP but even so, it’s not all ‘work, work, work.’ During 2017, the company raised over £600 for Children in Need, plus an amazing £1,600 for local educational charity, School for Parents, when Catherine ran the Robin Hood Half Marathon in September. MRP further supported School for Parents by printing the programmes and menus for their Summer Ball. The firm also sponsors Nottingham Rugby Club, providing a range of sponsored print services for them including all their programmes.

Over the decades, the printing industry has faced many challenges – not least the rise of the Internet which has reduced the demand for printed catalogues and brochures. Despite this, MRP’s business has consistently grown and Stephen and his team are optimistic about the future. “We’ve come a long way from our humble beginnings on Lowdham Street in 1969,” says Stephen. “Winning contracts like the “Real Meals” cookery book reconfirms our position as a major player in the national printing market, and we’d like to think MRP is helping put Nottingham on the map as a centre of UK industry.”