Move is the best thing they’ve done

NABU 1202211 Upson Downs. (1202211AM)
NABU 1202211 Upson Downs. (1202211AM)

THE founders of a design firm which relocated to Harrogate from Derbyshire have found it to be “the best thing we could have done”.

Upson Downs Ltd, which designs and produces signs, has experienced a growth in business since it moved to the Claro Court Business Centre in April last year.

The company was founded three and a half years ago by husband and wife Tom and Sarah Randon in Derbyshire, where Tom hails from.

Sarah, who studied graphic design at York College and worked as a graphic designer, does all the company’s design work. Tom, 36, had previously worked as a project manager for an electrical company.

Having developed a fantastic network of schools, nurseries and suppliers in the Midlands, the couple began to look at expanding their office, warehouse and design studio.

Sarah, 34, had been brought up in Harrogate, attending Coppice Valley Primary School and Rossett School and, although the couple looked at possibilities for new premises right along the M1 and the A1, they found the town topped their list for business requirements.

Following the move to Harrogate, Upson Downs has secured a contract to supply a new £13 million state-of-the-art community school in Wales with durable and brightly designed illustrations and signs.

The company’s main clients are schools and nurseries, which it provides with signs, banners, chalkboards, whiteboards, phonics products, and many other educational teaching resources. All its signs are made using the latest technology and are digitally printed directly onto 5mm thick PVC plastic, making them lightweight, UV resistant and waterproof, usable both indoors and outdoor. The company also produces a wide range of aluminium signs and noticeboards.

And although the majority of their work still comes from primary schools and nurseries, Sarah said they were increasingly getting inquiries from local businesses.

“Being based in Harrogate’s Claro Business Centre has allowed us to expand our base quickly, opening up opportunities for us to focus our efforts on expanding our business reach,” she added.

“Since we relocated, it’s been brilliant. Because we’ve now got the room to expand, the business has gone from strength to strength. It’s been the best thing we’ve done.

“It’s given us the chance to offer a lot more to clients.”