100 Years of Medica Packaging in the making

2023 is a very special year for Medica Packaging as 100 years ago our story began. It is also a significant year as it is our 30th Anniversary since the birth of the Medica Packaging brand.

Below is a timeline of our journey and how we have got to where we are today:

1922 - 2023
Big Announcement!
It is 100 years since our story began.

At the suggestion of John Beardmore, Peter Turnbull who retired from Medica Packaging in 2006 after 37 years’ service began the research into our past last year by visiting Crewe Library. Unbelievably on his first visit with the help of Local Studies Libarian Kathryn Bate found an amazing discovery in the Kelly's Directory of Cheshire 1923.

Frank Cottrell Senior opened a general printers- Frank Cottrell Printers

110 Victoria Street, Crewe, Cheshire

The original printing company has 3 connections with the local football club Crewe Alexandra.

Managing Director Frank Cottrell Senior became Chairman around the time of the Second World War. Frank Junior, Frank Cottrell Seniors son became chairman in the early 1950's.Wellcome's Crewe Hall Site Director John Bowler also became Chairman in 1985.

The company printed the football clubs match programmes and other marketing material over the years.

During the Second World War Frank Cottrell Senior passed away and his son Frank Cottrell Junior took over the business
In 1953 the Calmic Group (manufacturing chemists) acquired the company

The company had previously done work for Calmic and had built a professional relationship.

The company moved to the Crewe Hall Estate

At this time the company produced general and commercial printing work based at the stable block on the Crewe Hall Estate. 

Frank Cottrell Printers moved to a specially built premises on the East side of the Crewe Hall Estate

The company wanted to enhance manufacturing space to expand the business.

In 1966 The Calmic Group was acquired by The Wellcome Foundation Limited.

The printers still ran under the name Frank Cottrell Printers as the Wellcome Foundation also owned two other printers- Clunbury Press and Tabloid Press.

The Wellcome Foundation

When he passed away, the pharmaceutical entrepreneur Henry Wellcomes's business interests were brought together under The Wellcome Trust, which donated profits from the business to medical research. 

The Wellcome Trust is still going today, with a mission to fund ambitious global research projects to transform our understanding of life, health and wellbeing. 

Frank Cottrell and Clunbury Press merge
Frank Cottrell Junior retires

In approximately 1975 Frank Cottrell Junior retired and Terry McCurley (Managing Director of Clunbury Press) became Managing Director and appointed John Beardmore as Sales Manager for both sites.

Wellcome Print & Packaging Division

The Wellcome Foundation closed Clunbury Press, and renamed the Crewe factory as Wellcome Print & Packaging Division appointing John Beardmore as Managing Director. This was a very significant & proud milestone for the company with now being directly associated with such a well thought of organisation.

Tabloid Newsletter
In 1985 the decision was made to focus 100% on pharmaceutical packaging. Accreditations / Standards were attained during the late 1980's / early 1990's.

During the 50's to 70's the company was a jobbing / commercial printers. In 1972 specialised in 50% food and 50% pharmaceutical.

Sadly Frank Cottrell Junior passed away- 24th March 1993
On the 27th June 1993 Wellcome Print and Packaging Limited moved to a private ownership and became Medica Packaging Limited.
Offices, production and Warehouses were re-built, more than doubling floor area, and setting new standards for carton and leaflet production.
In 2005 Medica Packaging was acquired by Benson Box Limited.

John Beardmore sold the company to Benson Box who specialised in food packaging. A lot of changes were made to the company at this time. In 2006 John Beardmore retired.

Mark Kerridge was the Managing Director of the whole Benson Group.

Benson Box sold Medica Packaging Limited to Sullivan Street Partners.
John Bath was Managing Director
for 2 years
2016 - 2023
Medica Packaging today
June 2016 - Gerard Harford became Managing Director, with Mark Stokes Financial Director joining in October 2018.
2016 - 2023
£5 million investment made

A lot has happened over the last 6 years with a £5 million investment made to take the printing and packaging company to the next level.

Ani Colour Print Machine

The Ani Colour replaced two older machines and within a week of it being up and running efficiency increased dramatically with the amount of sheets doubling in a week.

Diana Gluing Machine

Medica invested in a Diana Heidelberg Machine to increase our capabilities and enabling us to undergo more complexed work. Overall increasing opportunities for Medica.

Factory Refurbishment

In 2019 the factory had a full refurb including a brand-new PVC overlaid, shock absorbent floor. LED lighting throughout the building (carbon neutral) and a new sprinkler system. Taking the factory to the next level!

Management Buyout

In December 2020 a MBO was completed by Gerard Harford and Mark Stokes, supported by Harwood Private Equity. 

Brausse Cutting Machine

The Brausse blanking machine strips all the waste from a sheet which eliminates a process in finishing. Increasing efficiency especially on long runs.

Komori Printer

In 2022 Medica Packaging invested in a brand new, state of the art technology Lithrone GX40 Offset Printing Press. 

“ I am delighted with our new investment as I truly believe it has taken Medica Packaging to the next level, with its exceptional quality and flexibility the machine can deliver. Ensuring we are improving our quality and lead times more and more.”
Gerard Harford, Managing Director.

Acquisition of Curtis Packaging Ltd.


In March 2022 Medication Packaging Holdco Ltd, owners of Medica Packaging Ltd, acquired F.G. Curtis plc.

The Curtis business has been operating for over 80 years, and specialises in the manufacture of folding cartons for the cosmetics and beauty markets. 

Medica Packaging is the only printing company that survived out of the 3 original printing companies.
Facts & Figures
  • We are the largest independent packaging converter in the UK within the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors 
  • £50 million Turnover
  • Group number of employees- 270
  • 2 sites in the UK

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Carton manufacture | printed cartons

Supplying leading pharmaceutical & healthcare companies

Carton manufacture | printed cartons

Supplying leading pharmaceutical & healthcare companies
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Supplying leading pharmaceutical & healthcare companies


Supplying leading pharmaceutical & healthcare companies
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Supplying leading pharmaceutical & healthcare companies

Design and innovation

Supplying leading pharmaceutical & healthcare companies
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