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The Design Group’s £1m Investment & Partnership with CCS McLays Shows Manufacturing is Alive & Well in South Wales

A £1 million investment in new machinery from Christmas wrapping manufacturer The Design Group will see up to ten new jobs created, as it continues to diversify its product offering.

In addition to its traditional sector of festive wrapping and crackers, which it sells in volume to the big retailers, the company can now manufacture high-end paper twist bags at its base on the Penallta Industrial Estate near Ystrad Mynach.

The purchase and installation of the machine, which was brought over from Japan, is a result of a unique partnership with Cardiff-based firm CCS McLays, which supplies a wide-range of retailers with bespoke retail packaging supplies and goods not for resale.

The concept is to harness The Design Group’s innovative printing methods, usually used on high-end wrapping paper with laminated holographic and metallic elements, creating unique paper twist handle bags for retailers as a result.

Lance Burn, Managing Director of The Design Group, said:

“From our point of view, the benefit of the relationship is that we have very strong direct-to-customer relationships, but traditionally with the high-volume retailers because our core offering is gift packaging celebration product.

CCS McLays does a similar turnkey service offering for all goods not for resale (GNFR), but primarily into high street fashion brands as well as other areas, such as single-source solutions.

They are complementary skills, but slightly different markets. We are fundamentally about fashion on paper and we’ve built up the competencies to be best-in-class in printing and all the various finishes.

The logic was how can we take those capabilities into a channel where we don’t have that expertise. We get access to a channel that we have no knowledge of and no representation in and we can sell volume. It works for CCS McLays because they have a professional well-invested and unique product capability and domestic supply.

The Design Group can already manufacture premium hand-made bags at our factory in Huizhou and this investment complements our manufacturing capabilities in China. Combined they offer a turnkey service for all common formats of bags.”

The firms have been working together for the last two years and an opportunity was spotted to further that relationship with the sourcing of the new paper bag machine.

Ian Hall, CEO of CCS McLays, which is based at Cardiff Gate International Business Park, said:

“We started talking about the impact of the 5p bag tax on the UK market and the change from polythene consumption to a more environmentally-friendly product. Most of the forward-thinking retailers are moving towards using paper.

There is also a lack of capacity in the world to produce this type of product and we talked about the fact it’s a product that has historically come from Eastern Europe or Asia, with very few UK suppliers.

We saw there was an opportunity with The Design Group as a local supplier and the two companies are already very closely aligned.

Speed to the market, unique printing methods and quality guaranteed made South Wales a natural choice.”