Business news


Posted By:
Lanyon Group

8th Mar 2023

A Belfast digital printing firm has been named the 2023 UK ‘Company of the Year’ at a London awards ceremony, fighting off competition from firms right across the UK.

Northside Graphics, which operates, was awarded the national accolade at the prestigious Printweek Awards 2023 on the back of record growth which saw it increase sales by 47% and net profit by almost 70% in a single year.  The firm has also increased its headcount by 70% over the past 12 months, with around a third of new hires being apprentices.

Northside, which was previously named ‘SME of the Year’ at the Printweek Awards in 2017, is the only company from Northern Ireland ever to be shortlisted for, or win, the UK wide ‘Company of the Year’ award.

Judges at the awards ceremony in London’s iconic The Brewery commended Northside for its innovation and ambition, saying:  “Every day, the online printer goes toe-to-toe with rivals many times its size but, rather than being daunted, it uses its size to its advantage: constantly investing in technology to achieve marginal gains in technology or add new products and services. It also helps that it punches above its weight in ambition.”

Commenting that “it’s no good spending without accumulating”, the judges said Northside “truly edged this category” by virtually doubling its sales and boosting net profit by 70% in a single year.

Gary White, who founded in 2013, attributed the company’s success to its 70-strong team. “Our team is absolutely incredible, and, without them, we simply could never have achieved this,” he said.  “Everything they do is about putting the customer first and the quality of print they produce makes us proud every day.”

In June 2021, the company launched its specialist Northside Graphics Training Academy, intended to offer entry-level opportunities for young talent seeking to gain skills in the printing industry. Since then, nine full-time apprenticeships have been offered to candidates aged 16-24 in conjunction with Belfast Met, with training delivered on Northside’s premises.

Mr White explained: “Around a third of our new hires over the past year have been apprentices, all of whom have brought so much to Northside and who, in turn, have been equipped with the core skills required to enjoy sustainable employment in our industry for many years to come. We are passionate about our industry and are committed to doing everything we can to pave the way for its future with a pipeline of young, ambitious talent.”

Northside Managing Director Richard Campbell continued: “Alongside this ongoing investment in our people, we have no doubt that investing in our websites, equipment, technology, and marketing are the reasons why our financial results continue to flourish.

“Even during Covid lockdowns we remained confident that our online businesses, and, would continue to grow as normality returned and invested accordingly to meet the increasing online demand we anticipated in the ‘upload to print’ sector.”

Over the past 18 months Northside has invested over £1million in automation and the development of improved production management software to further enhance production efficiency and reduce waste, together with continued investment in the growth and development of its eCommerce offering.

Alongside its strong financial performance, Northside heralds its customer reviews and Net Promoter Score (NPS) as a strong measure of success. Averaging 4.9 out of 5 in over 16,500 online reviews across a range of accredited review platforms, the firm’s NPS sits at 89 (with 80 or above considered to be ‘world-class’).

For more information about Northside Graphics, visit