North East Connected


THREE of the UK’s leading print companies have joined forces and are using their specialist machinery to manufacture much-need personal protection equipment for frontline NHS staff.

Precision Printing, which has bases in Sunderland and London, Nottingham’s Prime Group and Proco Print at Sheffield are now creating upwards of 10,000 PPE visors a day – and have shared their designs with companies in 18 other countries where PPE is also in short supply.

The decision by the bespoke print companies to adapt their normal production was led by Prime Group MD, Jon Tolley, whose wife is a frontline NHS worker.

“My wife had a shift last week and rang me in the afternoon, deeply concerned as they were running desperately low on PPE, for treating suspected or positive Covid-19 patients,” he said.

“She asked me if we could do anything as we use similar materials and the team and I very swiftly worked out that our skills for creating new products quickly, could potentially translate well here.”

The team used an existing visor and reverse engineered it to create their own version, with the prototype tested by clinicians before being given the seal of approval.

Now all three companies are mass producing the visors, which are being delivered to NHS staff across the UK.

Louise Stephenson, Managing Director for Precision Print in the north, said the company jumped at the opportunity to be part of this vital project.

“The fact that the machinery we use has the capability to create the visors means we can hopefully do something really positive to support our NHS staff during these  worrying times,” she said.

Her words were echoed by Jon Bailey, of Sheffield’s Proco Print.

“Keeping our frontline staff protected is one of the most important priorities at present,” he said.

“So naturally we jumped at the opportunity to play our part.”

A GoFundMe page has also been launched with a target of £20,000 – with almost £14,000 already raises – to help with the logistics, stocking purchasing and further trialling of the visors.

Anyone who wants to donate can do so at

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