TWO historic family printing firms with a combined heritage of more than 120 years are joining forces.

Wood Richardson, a family-run printing business in Haxby Road in York which dates back to 1905, has been bought by Pocklington-based print firm NorthWolds with the new firm being known as Northwolds Richardson Group Ltd.

NorthWolds managing director Gurdev Singh said: "Wood Richardson and Northwolds are to join forces to create a strong vibrant business that will target future growth based on our shared values of service, quality and craft.

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"At the heart of our plans will be our single larger combined team of highly experienced and passionate people who will be based at our site in Pocklington.

"With an enviable client list the new business will have revenues of circa £2.5 million pa and employ 25 staff."

The new business will operate from NorthWolds existing site at Pocklington Industrial Estate with the Wood Richardson buildings being let out as a commercial property.

Wood Richardson was established in 1905 and has been run by the Richardson family since the 1920s.

Managing director James Richardson, who took over the role from his dad, John, in 2015, said: "This is something we have been planning for some time. I left the business last April and it had, until recently, been looked after by my mum, Judy.

"Sadly, my mum died aged 75 earlier this year and my dad, who is 73, got early onset dementia when he was 62 and has been in a care home for about six years.

"I'm glad that the deal ensures security for our staff, but I'm upset that my mum isn't here to see it really and my dad's not in a position to appreciate it."

York Press: James Richardson, left, with his dad, John, pictured in 2015James Richardson, left, with his dad, John, pictured in 2015

James said more than 200 people attended Judy's funeral last month at York Crematorium, including family, friends and a lot of people she'd worked with over the years at Wood Richardson.

After leaving the company, where he worked for worked for 30 years, James went on to retrain and is now a commercial diver.

NorthWolds were founded in 1978 by Norman Sykes and Pete Meggitt and the business moved from the centre of Pocklington to Pocklington Industrial Estate. Initially Norman retired and retained a share in the company, and it was when Pete came to retire that Gurdev bought the firm in 2014.

He had previously worked for Waddingtons, the British manufacturer of card and board games such as Monopoly, among others, and saw an advert in the paper by chance.

York Press: Inside the NorthWolds factoryInside the NorthWolds factory (Image: Newsquest)

Gurdev said: "Everything was going well until Covid came along, and a lot of printers have been affected by the acceleration of digitisation.

"I think with Brexit, the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and inflation I don't want to make any predictions for the future, but I believe a company that does high quality printed items does have a future.

"The number of email campaigns that just go into your spam or get binned - they are cheap, but they don't have high rates of return."

The new company will be working with clients in banking, property, travel, adult education and marketing agencies.

There are plans to restructure the senior management team so that NorthWolds directors Chris Sykes and Robert Logan will be joined by Wood Richardson colleagues.

York Press: Chris Sykes Northwolds directorChris Sykes Northwolds director (Image: NorthWolds)