BOLTON'S Fastsign's franchise has ended its first year under new ownership with big plans for expansion which are set to 'hit the ground running' in its second year.

After welcoming new staff to its sales team, the graphics and signage specialist is now preparing for a further recruitment drive in its production department.

The company will search for an experienced printing candidate, with plans to take on and train an apprentice in the coming months.

Owner David Hiney, previously a project manager with over 25 years’ experience, bought the signage centre in July 2016. Since then the centre quickly secured numerous large-scale printing contacts for local businesses including schools, engineering firms, a nightclub and an artisan ice cream brand.

Mr Hiney said: “After initially taking time to understand the market, recognise customers’ needs and build upon existing client relationships, I’m excited to roll out my plans for expansion.

"Through our recruitment process we plan to put an even stronger team in place, enabling us to further improve our in-house capabilities and strengthen our product offering, whilst reaching out to new customers too.

“Although focus was more on refining strategy than driving sales in year one, we’ve already been working on a number of exciting projects. For example, as part of a re-branding exercise, we produced a large 6m illuminated exterior sign, to display a new logo for a local nightclub frontage and have also just completed external for a high end restaurant in the Ribble Valley. The team enjoy working on creative jobs such as this and I’m looking forward to seeing what other opportunities arise in the next year.”

To accompany its investment in recruitment and training, the franchise has also launched an updated marketing plan, set to complement and facilitate the expansion strategy.

John Davies, Managing Director of Fastsigns UK, said: “David is a fine example of why we value our franchisees. He’s taken the bold step to change his career, and with extensive management experience and strong business acumen, he’s bound to continue to make the Bolton centre a huge success. We fully support his expansion goals, offering the guidance, facilities and support needed to help him achieve them.”