The magic of the Harry Potter fan club provides a boost for Yorkshire print company

Mark Gray the managing director of Charlesworth Press
Mark Gray the managing director of Charlesworth Press
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A Yorkshire print company has enjoyed a dramatic transformation in its fortunes, with a little help from the magic of the Harry Potter fan club.

The Wakefield-based firm has seen its fortunes transformed – going from a business entering into a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) to a £6m turnover company in profit – after it diversified into the children’s personalised book market.

It works with the UK’s leading publishers including Wonderbly, Mrs Wordsmith and Hooray Heroes. It has recently been commissioned by Wonderbly to produce Keys and Curios, a new journal for the Harry Potter fan club.

Due to the seasonal demand for personalised books, Charlesworth Press has seen up to 36,000 books per day rolling off the presses. Last week it produced 20,000 one-off books per day thanks to Black Friday.

Charlesworth Press has also gained eight new customers this year, from Australia, South Africa, the US, Switzerland and Slovenia.

Lee Hewitt, operations director at Charlesworth Press, said: “We used to publish a lot of long run publications but have changed markets to stay in business, mixing traditional bookmaking with personalisation and print on demand.

“Winning contracts like Wonderbly, Mrs Wordsmith and Hooray Heroes, means we can continually invest in our personalisation offering, which has been pivotal in shaping the future of the business.

“In the last five years, we have seen year-on-year growth in this area and the exciting thing is that customers from all over the world are seeking us out to carry out personalised printing and to work in partnership on product development and fulfilment.

“It’s an exciting time for our 50-plus strong team as we start to see the full capabilities of our new generation Muller Martini finishing line.

“Not only will this new equipment open up a vast world of personalised printing opportunities, it will also mean we’re able to grow our print-on-demand services too.”

Charlesworth Press was also behind the production of I Want To Leave This Book, a children’s guide to Brexit. Written by Richard David Lawman, it is an allegory that aims to tackle the complex issues of Brexit in a child-friendly style.