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Middlesbrough vinyl manufacturer keeps low-tech in the game


A Middlesbrough-based vinyl record manufacturer has proved that hi-tech isn’t everything, producing almost 500,000 records since it became fully operational in April 2022.

After securing an investment from NPIF – FW Capital Debt Finance in June 2021, the company has now reached over £1m in turnover since it began operating in 2022.

As the North’s only vinyl record manufacturer,Press On Vinyl is also the largest UK manufacturer in terms of output. Starting with just two pressing machines in April 2022, its pressing plant at Tees Advance Manufacturing Park now boasts four full-scale pressing machines that make between 1,000 to 1,500 records-day per machine.

Since April 2022, co-founders David Todd and Daniel Lowe have scaled the business significantly by adding 31 full-time staff to their team. Anticipating further demand for vinyl records from fans of both independent and chart-topping artists, Press On Vinyl has already purchased two new pressing machines, which will double production from up to 3,000 a day to up to 6,000 a day.

This will make it more cost effective for the company to run small-scale record productions and meet 1,000’s of new orders. The addition of the new machines is also in line with plans to raise headcount to almost 40 members of staff by the end of 2023.

Press On Vinyl also used the investment to launch a novel fan-funded pre-order service called FairSound. Through FairSound, an artist can fund a vinyl release with no up-front costs and get the exact number of records they need, helping free up cash for other projects.

David Todd, co-founder and commercial director at Press On Vinyl said: “Although streaming unlocks access to millions of songs, listeners still love listening to a physical and beautifully crafted record. Labels also see the value in having vinyl versions of artists’ albums, which is why we’ve been strategic in using investment to scale quickly to match the ever-increasing demand.”

Sean Hutchinson at the British Business Bank, which funded the start-up, added: “The age of digitalisation can sometimes lead us astray from the brilliant products we grew up with, so it is great that NPIF is able to support an exciting Northern business that is reconnecting people with vinyl records. Being the UK’s leading manufacturer is a huge feat, and David and Daniel are fantastic entrepreneurs that are delivering high-quality results in what is a difficult period for manufacturers. With new machines and jobs on the way, Press On Vinyl not only add tremendous economic value to the region, but enhances Middlesbrough’s reputation as a key player in the music industry.”

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