Person watching packaging being manufactured

Online support package is perfect delivery for Durham Box

A North East firm has its online profile all boxed off, thanks to support from regional business support experts.

With support from NBSL, via the North East Business Support Fund – part financed by the England European Regional Development Fund – the firm is set to launch a new website and a devised programme of digital marketing to raise awareness of its products within the craft brewing sector.

The new site will help the firm break into this lucrative and rapidly expanding independent market and has been developed to showcase Durham Box’s creative and innovative approach to packaging, something they have done since 1989 from their County Durham base.

Durham Box business development manager, Richard Turnbull, said: “Although Durham Box is a family run traditional firm, we are also forward thinking and constantly looking for ways to improve and grow, welcoming any opportunity to embrace new innovation and technology.

“NBSL helped us a few years ago when we upgraded our website and digital marketing, funding us to recruit Urban River, who delivered a brilliant website. So, when we decided to target independent breweries, we wanted to make sure that we had an online platform to showcase what we could do.

“We spoke to our funding advisor at NBSL, Jonathan Barnes, who agreed that it was a great idea and backed us with investment support and we worked with Urban River once again, and we’re delighted with the results.”

Based in St Helen’s Auckland, near Bishop Auckland, Durham Box was created in 1989 when the current owners, the Morris Family, recognised an opportunity in the packaging sector to supply to small volume packaging users. The business rapidly built an excellent reputation for its quality and rapid reliable service. Demand grew and it was not long before plans were drawn up for a purpose-built factory, new machinery ordered and new jobs created.

The firm now employs 70 people in St Helen Auckland, and, after several extensions to the premises, Durham Box now occupies a 70,000sqft factory and produces in excess of 20 million products per year.

Richard added: “Durham Box’s commitment to continually invest in the business and its products has been the cornerstone of its success, as well as always striving to develop the business to encourage growth, pushing technological advancement, employing skilled people and training others.

“In 2018 we extended our capabilities into Digital Print with the investment in a Wonderjet WD200 press. The single-pass corrugated printer has been installed at our plant in County Durham, alongside a Zund BHS150 board handling system with Digital Cutter.

“The decision to create an additional website targeting the Craft Brewing industry was brought about by these investments in Digital technology that we feel will readily support this sector and is another demonstration of how we refuse to stand still as a business and always look for new markets, clients and products to continue to set the pace in our industry.”

Durham Box designs, develops, manufactures and delivers all kinds of Corrugated Packaging solutions to just about every sector of business, from healthcare to food takeaways, bespoke gifts boxes and mass manufacturing packaging solutions.

The firm is also committed to reducing its impact on the environment, recycling 100% of all paper-based waste generated and installing solar panels that produce over a third of the firm’s energy. More recently Durham Box has invested in transport, increasing capacity and reducing journeys, and LED lighting throughout the factory, reducing energy usage.

NBSL’s Jonathan Barnes said: “Durham Box is a high-class, responsible business from factory floor to boardroom. As well as having a determination to provide excellent products and service, it is also environmentally responsible, driving skills development in a rural community and providing high-quality employment opportunities.

“We have seen for ourselves the benefits of the last round of digital investment by Durham Box and NBSL is really pleased to be able to once again support this fantastic North East company’s reach and exceed its growth plans.”

Find out more about the North East Business Support Fund

With a dedicated website offering easy to understand eligibility criteria, a simple funding process and client case studies, online applications take less than 15 minutes to complete and grants could be approved within 10 working days.