Potts Print (UK) & Akzo Nobel Support This Is Creative Enterprise Summer School 2013

Potts Print (UK) welcomed visitors from Ashington Learning Partnership last week, as a group of summer school students completed their This Is Creative Enterprise project to produce a printed comic about the South East Northumberland area.

AkzoNobel facilitated the first part of the project, taking the participants around the area in an open top bus to take photographs of the region.

Akzo Nobel

Industry news website The Manufacturer wrote…

Chemicals manufacturer AkzoNobel is working in association with the government-funded Ashington Learning Partnership on a summer school programme to help develop students’ maths and English skills. The programme aims to give students a chance to get ahead before they return to secondary school studies in September. Pupils from Bothal and Hirst Park Middle Schools will be given the chance to take part in the programme, which focuses on learning to use maths and English skills practically.

Andy Gaskell, director of enterprise and vocational studies at the Ashington Learning Partnership, is coordinating the ALP Summer School programme this year. On opening the programme, he said:  “The Department for Education Summer Schools are fantastic, their challenge-based approach helps students start secondary education ready to learn. Evidence shows that there can be a dip in performance for pupils as they transfer from primary school to secondary school. Pupils falling behind at this stage sometimes never catch up and so it’s vital that we work in partnership with local business, such as AkzoNobel, to address this challenge, and better prepare the workforce of the future. We value AkzoNobel’s keen interest in supporting our Summer School programme, particularly given their presence in Ashington and the North East.

Week one of the programme looks at team building as groups work on a This is a Creative Enterprise project where they develop a comic to promote the South East Northumberland area. Part of the task involves an open top bus tour capturing images of the local area’s iconic sites, including the AkzoNobel manufacturing facility where construction is almost at an end. In the second week pupils will develop their comics further and eventually visit Potts Print (UK) in Cramlington to see their final comic book creations printed.

Andy Jackson, project director for the AkzoNobel Ashington facility, welcomed the programme, saying: “Given our presence here in the North East, and the countdown to the opening of our manufacturing facility in Ashington next year, we’re keen to be involved in a programme where we can see a direct way to inspire a future generation. AkzoNobel is all about being connected and engaged with the community. For us, we see a value through the ALP in being able to show students that there are great opportunities to work in international companies right on their doorstep. From today’s visit we can see that another highlight was meeting the Dulux dog.

This Is Creative Enterprise

The next step in the project was to spend a morning at Potts Print (UK), having a tour of the facility and actually producing the comic the students had created characters and illustrations for. Ian White, Creative & Technical Services Director, led the visit and gave the students an insight into what goes on behind the scenes of a printing company.


Above: We never knew that Ian was such a big Bieber fan.


Above: The students get a view of the print hall.

This Is Creative Enterprise

Above: Strict discipline was maintained throughout the visit.

This Is Creative Enterprise

Above: A bit bigger than a HP Deskjet, eh?

This Is Creative Enterprise

At the end of the visit, the completed comic was printed and finished so that the students could see their work and take a copy home. This Is Creative Enterprise wrote on their blog: “Can we just add a HUGE thank you to everyone at Potts Print (UK) for helping us with this comic and particularly our tour and especially Ian White (another legend)! It’s been a fantastic challenge creating this comic book and you’ve helped it come to life! Thank you!

This Is Creative Enterprise

The whole experience obviously went down very well with the students. And who knows, there might be some future employees amongst the group. This young lad seems quite comfortable at the head of the table…

This Is Creative Enterprise

You can hear about the project from the students’ point of view on the TICE blog…


Laurie Cansfield
Corporate Communications Manager
Potts Print (UK)

The first Carbon Balanced Printing Company in the North of England
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