A PRINTING firm that overcame a damaging fire is celebrating its success one year on and has won praise from its local MP.
Senator Press, in New Lane, Havant, is a family-run business that was established in 1990. It suffered a business-threatening blaze on June 22 that destroyed most of the equipment and smoke damage that meant the factory had to be completely refurbished.
Havant MP Alan Mak went to the printers to see how the business has coped – and flourished – since.
He was given a tour of Senator’s offices and printing machinery by founder and financial director Maureen Cocker.
Mr Mak said: ‘I was delighted to visit Senator’s premises and hear about their success, which is a testament to the company’s strength given the terrible fire last year.
‘They’ve recovered well to become a national industry leader we can all be proud of. Through hard work and determination, Maureen and her team have shown that they won’t be beaten.’
He added: ‘It is fantastic to see Maureen and the rest of the team succeeding. Having set out with a clear ambition to become the quality printing service in the area, Senator are clearly reaping the benefits of great products allied to a close-knit and friendly working atmosphere.’
Ms Cocker said that the business has seen year-on-year growth and its continual investment in modern technology means it is efficient and has minimal impact on the environment, with a high percentage of waste being recycled.
However, she said that last year was one of the most challenging in the company’s history, but due to the dedication of management and staff, the company continued and is now running normally with up-to-date technology and new presses.
She said: ‘We were pleased to welcome Alan to our Havant site.
‘It is clear that he is very supportive of small businesses who do so much to support the economy around Havant and across the country.’
Mr Mak said he was supportive of Senator’s ambition, and described the business as a ‘genuine success story’ for Havant.
Mr Mak is a keen supporter of small businesses and enterprise.
In February, he hosted the first-ever Havant Jobs and Apprenticeships Fair, which enabled employers and skills providers to meet jobseekers.
He also organised the inaugural Havant Small Business Awards, designed to celebrate the range and depth of businessese in the area, which took place last month.
Ms Cocker added: ‘It is great to see Alan pushing initiatives such as the awards, and the Jobs and Apprenticeships Fair.
‘We know how hard it can be starting out from humble beginnings, and hopefully more local businesses can benefit and thrive with the right support.’