Press On Vinyl

Spinning a new record for Teesside’s manufacturing industry.

Press On Vinyl accessed finance and funding to the tune of £1.4 million to open the doors to its new vinyl record manufacturing plant in Middlesbrough – the only pressing plant in the North of England.

We caught up with Co-Founder Danny Lowe to find out how things are going and how joined-up support from Tees Valley Combined Authority and Tees Valley Business helped make it happen.

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Manufacturing with pride on Teesside

Based in Middlesbrough’s Tees Advanced Manufacturing Park (TeesAMP), Press on Vinyl’s new facility sits within an exciting manufacturing zone. The team are immensely proud of the region’s industrial past and the role they are now playing in carrying this rich heritage forward.

Danny says: “We are enormously proud to bring this state-of-the-art facility to the North East. We have a fantastic industrial heritage here and a reputation for high quality manufacturing, from steel and chemicals to ship building in the past. It means a lot to us to bring this new manufacturing process to the area and carry on this tradition.”

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Plugging the capacity gap

The team are working hard to help ease the severe lack of capacity and high demand that is currently affecting the music industry right across the globe.

In particular, the team want to work closely with independent record labels and artists who are struggling the most to access vinyl pressing capacity. By having a shorter minimum run size of 100 vinyl’s, it means services are accessible to artists of all levels.
Danny says: “Having a vinyl record pressing plant that specialises in working with emerging and independent artists and labels will really shine a light on the local music scene. We can’t wait to see the benefits and opportunities it will bring.”

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Funding the North of England’s first pressing plant

The business was approved for a £390,000 Large Capital Grant via Tees Valley Combined Authority to contribute to the lease and major fit out of its specialist facility with state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment and machinery.

Danny says: “We have sourced the latest cutting-edge technology for all of our manufacturing processes, from the silvering machines, galvanic baths and stamper forming equipment along with our state-of-the-art pressing machines which are of a new design for the industry.

“The full process is powered by a sophisticated system of steam generators, cooling equipment and air compressors. This has all been designed to save energy and be as efficient as possible.”

Alongside the Large Capital Grant, Press On Vinyl accessed ongoing business consultancy support from Tees Valley Business, which is the Local Growth Hub established by the Tees Valley Combined Authority and the Tees Valley Mayor.
Danny says: “This whole project would not have been possible without the support and guidance received from Tees Valley Business right from the very start. From the initial meeting, to developing our business plan and throughout the funding application process, we received a wealth of advice. They also set up vital introductions to numerous other finance partners which ultimately helped us to achieve our funding goals.”

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Tapping into joined-up support

Using its strong local links, Tees Valley Business was able to start conversations, make connections and introduce Press On Vinyl to its local networks and finance providers.
Danny says: “We were introduced to the incredibly supportive team at North Invest, who invited us to pitch at two of their events. This resulted in us finding an investor who not only completed our investment round but also became a great partner that has many years’ experience in the music industry.

Another introduction was made to FW Capital, who manage the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, which Tees Valley Combined Authority contributes to.

Danny says: “While we were struggling with many other lenders due to the pandemic, FW Capital went the extra mile to get us the finance we needed. They spent a long time researching our industry and helped us work on an incredibly detailed forecast, as they really understood the benefit our business could bring to the local area.”

All this alongside additional grants funding for marketing costs and additional employee training through Teesside University’s Digital City Accelerator programme.

Danny tells us that the Large Capital Grant was the catalyst to securing this additional finance. He says: “Without the Large Capital Grant, the capital expenditure would have been too high for us to fund the project through private finance alone. Having the approval for the Large Capital Grant really helped us to secure the rest of our private finance as it was attractive to investors and lenders.”

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Ambitions for growth

Press On Vinyl already employs 12 full time employees alongside two part time members of staff, from process operators, engineers and production managers to administration staff, graphic designers and sales and marketing professionals. The plan is to create an additional 30 roles within the next three years.
It’s been a busy year for the team, but there are even more plans in the pipeline.
Danny says: “We have plans to expand as quickly as possible to meet the demands of the industry and hope to be at full capacity by the end of next year. We are also planning to set up our mastering and cutting studio locally next year so we can bring the entire process in-house and in Teesside.”

Talking about the support received, Danny said: “Other businesses should definitely contact Tees Valley Business. There is so much support available, both financially and in the way of advice for start ups and growing SMEs. If you have a good business idea, but are not sure how to get it off the ground, then the team will help you every step of the way and make introductions to any other local funding companies or advisers who can help you.”

To find out more about Press On Vinyl, click here to visit the website.


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