Signage firms join forces to expand portfolio

A leading sign manufacturer is forging ahead with significant growth plans following the acquisition of an award-winning firm.

Gateshead-based Astley – which designs, manufactures and installs signs for national brands such as BP, Sainsbury’s and Hilton – has bought Sign of the Times, based in Kettering, Northamptonshire.

The deal will boost Astley’s offering to customers, and further accelerate its expansion into new markets with more digitally printed services and bespoke work, especially in the south of the UK.

The partnership will benefit both firms who will work together to deliver key projects for leading clients, utilising the greater capacity and services by the partnership.

Sign of the Times won Sign of the Year at the British Signs and Graphics Association Awards in 2015 for their installation “Timeless” a fully functional clock at Senator House in London and followed with their Craftsman of the Year award at this year’s event. Their Timeless installation also took GOLD Award in the Non-Printed Signage category at the 2016 FESPA awards.

Both parties will share expertise, knowledge of the signage industry and in-house capabilities, to maximise opportunities across the UK and better inform customers of industry developments and direct potential benefits.

The move – which will see the two businesses continuing to operate under their own established brand identities – promises further streamlined and co-ordinated processes to ensure high levels of service are maintained.

David Redhead, Managing Director of Astley, said: “We are pleased to announce the successful acquisition of Kettering-based signage company Sign of the Times.

“The addition of Sign of the Times strengthens Astley in terms of capability and will allow us entry into new markets.

“This is an exciting time for Astley as we will be provided with further opportunities for bespoke projects along with a greater presence in the south of England.

“Equally this is a great opportunity to help Sign of the Times achieve its ambitious plans to grow by sharing with them our company expertise and industry knowledge.”

Darren Roughton, Managing Director, Sign of the Times echoed Astley’s sentiments and said: “We look forward to building a successful relationship with Astley following its acquisition of Sign of the Times.

“Not only is it fantastic news that we are now owned by such an established company, but the partnership will positively benefit our staff and customers.”

Founded more than 90 years ago, Astley manages annual signage programmes for clients across a range of sectors including grocery retail, petroleum, leisure and public sector.  Recent Astley achievements have included being appointed the only approved UK manufacturer of BP signage, delivering the signage scheme for the newly introduced petroleum brand Essar to the UK, and decorating the Tyne Bridge for the fourth year in a row.

Sign of the Times, who employ 30 people, have become synonymous with helping to create eye catching designs such as the central art piece for the new passenger lounge at Dublin Airport and the award winning ‘Heinz 57 Wall’, an art installation and architectural feature wall depicting the history of the infamous brand at the Heinz Innovation Centre in Holland.

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