Almost wiped out by Storm Desmond in 2015, Lancaster printer Pagefast is looking forward to a bright future

December 5th will shortly be upon us, when many Lancastrians will cast their minds back to ‘that Saturday’ two years ago when the rain started and simply didn’t stop.

Pagefast Print and Publishing’s location on Caton Road placed the firm at the epicentre of the devastation wrought by Storm Desmond. When the floodwater subsided MD Keith Simpson found the business he had built over three decades in muddy chaos. The litho press, the heart of the business, was destroyed, along with the digital platemaker and tens of thousands of pounds worth of finishing equipment. The front office was ruined.

The days and weeks that followed were chaotic, but with the help and support of customers, suppliers and friends in the industry Simpson and his staff slowly put the business back on its feet. Cleaned up, refitted and re-equipped, six months after the deluge Pagefast finally ran its first job on a gleaming five-colour Komori press. A brand new Agfa machine – only the second of its type to be installed anywhere in the UK – produced the plates, and a heavyweight guillotine and state-of-the-art folder and booklet maker awaited the printed sheets.

Two years on, Desmond is a fading memory. Pagefast is once again running as Lancaster’s largest and most capable commercial printer, producing everything from brochures and magazines to business cards, menus and packaging.

As the saying goes, chaos gives rise to opportunity. From that dark day two years ago, Pagefast is looking at a future that is brighter than ever.

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