The history of Watershed Packaging
Since our formation 25 years ago, Watershed Packaging has become one of Europe’s prominent suppliers of Flexible Printed Packaging. Our core values of quality, service and innovation make Watershed a premium choice for many multinational companies. Our products & services are supplied to over 50 countries globally.
Operating from 4 sites across the UK, we now encompass over 11 Printing Presses across the group. We are a Leeds based Flexographic Print & Packaging company. Watershed Packaging offer in-house Design, Contract Sleeving and we manufacture all our Printing Plates on site in our Platemaking facility.
Watershed Packaging was established as a Limited Company in Leeds by founder John Waters. Initially we were supplying Packaging Machinery and Consumables, little did we know that we were about to open the doors to bigger and greater things.
After rapid growth, Watershed acquired a company called ‘Logo Tape’ which manufactured Printed Tape in Wales. This enabled Watershed to become manufacturers of Printed Tape, this was the spark that ignited the strive for success.
Watershed moved into new markets, we were looking to become Label printers and Printed Film manufacturers, so in 1998 Watershed Packaging acquired ‘Ace Printing’, a Flexographic printing company in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.
We invested in a state of the art MPS UV Flexo Press for our head office in Leeds converting the site into one of the most advanced printers in the Label industry. We would later buy more of these Presses and establish a very strong connection with MPS.
Our dedicated Sales and Customer Service teams helped pave the way for year on year growth, this meant we were often at maximum capacity so the decision was made to purchase another MPS Press. The company now has 2 MPS Presses.
Watershed acquired ‘Aurora Colors’ in South Wales adding two UV Presses and two Flat Bed Presses to our production capabilities. We then combined the Tape division and Aurora into one purpose built factory.
The Watershed Packaging Group acquires “The Label Store” based in Beverley, Hull in Yorkshire. We also successfully achieved BRC accreditation for all of our printing sites across the UK. Well done to everybody involved.
The Leeds head office site was extended to house one of the Flexographic Presses from our Kent site. We expanded the building as part of strategical plan to increase capacity in West Yorkshire as we strive to deliver premium quality products on time, keeping our word on customer production promises.
Watershed Packaging creates a Marketing department. With a task set to grow the Watershed brand online, which to date has been a success working together with the Sales teams.
In 2011 we purchased another MPS Press, this time we invested in a 410 MPS Hybrid Press this is now our third MPS Press installed into Leeds alongside the other printing Presses in our multiple manufacturing sites across the UK.
We installed a 4th MPS Hybrid Press into our Leeds head office, Watershed continued to expand and grow year on year! We also launched our Shrink Sleeve division and now we can supply Shrink Sleeve Labels worldwide.
Our Shrink Sleeve department hit the ground running, the dedication and reinvestment into the company has not only boosted the company year on year but international clients are now contacting Watershed Packaging and a brand name is starting to prosper.
Plans for a new head office were unveiled, with the support of Leeds City Council we created over 40 new jobs at our new state of the art facility. Construction work began for our new manufacturing headquarters in Leeds at Thornes Farm. This project would see a £5 million reinvestment into the business.
In 2014 our beautiful headquarters was completed and we relocated our Leeds headquarters business to Thornes Farm Way in the new Aire Valley Leeds Enterprize Zone. We were one of the first companies to take advantage of the incentives on offer to businesses locating in the new Aire Valley Leeds. Relocating to this new premises allowed us to expand our operations in Leeds as our business is rapidly expanding and growing.
We achieved AA Grade BRC high risk accreditation at our Leeds headquarters and AA Grade BRC accreditation at our Wales site. Watershed recently invested in Esko CDI which includes HD screening enabling us to output High Definition Plates. Alongside this we also invested in Asahi’s AWP Water Wash System.
We now have a our own in-house Design Studio and a Platemaking facility at our Leeds HQ. Having the full suite on-site helps our customers meet the targets and service levels required for tight deadlines as we manufacture all of our Printing Plates ourselves.
Watershed now encompasses over 11 Printing Presses across the group at it’s three sites within the UK which enables us to have a professional Disaster Recovery Plan. We also installed a leading MIS system to manage all of the groups live Printing time to the minute, which enables us to become even more efficient and competitive.
Watershed Packaging invest in more market-leading machinery which now enables us to produce Die Cut Lids. We are rapidly expanding our business into different markets and can now manufacture Aluminium and Polyester Lids for a variety of products.
Watershed Packaging install our latest £2 million Printing Press. Flexographic, Lithographic, Gravure, Solvent, UV, Water-based and Coldseal. The capabilities are endless on our brand new combination Press. It is the first of it’s specification in the UK, allowing us to pursue new markets and provide the highest quality print in the industry. Take a look at the promotional video below