Plymouth graduate helps Cornish book business start the next chapter

A Plymouth University graduate is helping a Cornish business sustain its position as one of the UK’s leading book manufacturers. TJ International’s Marketing and Communications Executive Magdalena Pieta (MA Publishing, 2010) is helping the business to grow its market as it adapts to rapidly-changing printing technologies.

Based in Padstow, Cornwall, TJ International employs 120 staff and is one of the most profitable book manufacturers in the UK. The £12 million turnover company makes books for some of the world’s leading publishers but increasingly faces global competition, so needs to continually adapt to maintain its market position.

The company has just undergone a complete refurbishment of its post-press area, which involved a £3.5 million investment in new equipment.

Magdalena Pieta originally joined TJ International as a Market Researcher through the Unlocking Potential programme, which is jointly managed by Cornwall College and Plymouth University, and was offered a permanent position after producing a sales and marketing plan for the business. 

Unlocking Potential, which offers a range of services to businesses across the South West, is part of a wider family of support services which can be accessed through GAIN (the Growth Acceleration and Investment Network). GAIN is working with public and private partners across the South West to help businesses access the services they need at the right time to maximise their growth.

Magdalena said:

“The world of publishing and printing is changing very fast. There is now more competition from overseas firms and we need to adapt to achieve sustainable growth. To enable us to continue offering publishers competitive service coupled with high standards of quality, we continually invest in the latest technology and have just completed a £3.5 million installation of bindery equipment.
“I am really passionate about the whole process of manufacturing books. I love seeing our books come off the press and I still find it really exciting when I walk into a bookshop and pick up a book that we made.”

Chief Executive of TJ International, Angus Clark, said: 

“Forty years since it was founded, TJ International continues to invest in great people and innovative technology, focusing on delivering quality products, world-class service and reliability. Unlocking Potential helps us find the brightest new talent coming through in the South West. Magdalena initially joined us to produce a one-off project, but is now a vital member of our team and is helping the business drive forwards.”

The Growth Acceleration and Investment Network (GAIN) accelerates the creation, growth and investment in high quality businesses and ideas to create wealth and jobs in the South West. GAIN is driving the region’s economic growth by harnessing knowledge, skills and facilities from higher education and business.

GAIN collects into one place everything and everyone businesses need to know to help them succeed and grow – from expert business advice and mentoring to innovation workspace and research and development (R&D) facilities, funding and investment support.

It is a partnership founded by Plymouth University, Plymouth City Council and Plymouth Science Park. The suite of support services provided by GAIN includes Formation Zones in Devon and Cornwall, Cornwall’s Unlocking Potential enterprise programme, Cornwall’s three innovation centres, world class University R&D facilities and business support through gaininbusiness.com and a telephone helpline.

GAIN is delivering the Peninsula City Deal Growth Hub, which has been made possible by the Plymouth and South West Peninsula City Deal’s £6 million business support programme, funded through the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF).