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Home » Industry news, Roberts Mart

Roberts Mart’s Management Moves to Next Generation

Submitted by on November 13, 2009 – 09:35No Comment

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Roberts Mart chairman and managing director, John Roberts marked the recent celebrations for his 65th birthday by handing over the day-to-day management of the Yorkshire-based flexible packaging printers to his two sons, William and Ben.

William Roberts (33) and his younger brother Ben (31), both from Harrogate, will become joint managing directors responsible for the day-to-day running of one of the country’s leading printers of plastic and paper packaging, serving alongside Financial Director Ken Ellis and Commercial Director Simon Plomer-Roberts.

Roberts Mart employs 140 people across both its sites in Leeds, at Aire Valley House based on Thornes Farm Way, and its subsidiary company Romar Packaging, a specialist packaging film converting business based at Newmarket Lane on the edge of the city. Roberts Mart is a specialist printer of film for the food and beverage industry – including sectors such as coffee vending, bottled water and ice cream – as well as its renowned household textiles packaging for items such as duvets.

These are exciting times for the company and ongoing investment – almost £9million over the last seven years on new plant and high-tec equipment – have helped Roberts Mart hold its own during the recession and to also diversify into the beverage sector. It currently has a new third 8 colour Fischer and Krecke press scheduled for installation during November 09 and made recent purchases of a new laminator and a high-speed Titan SR8 slitter.

William Roberts, who lives in Harrogate with wife Jennifer and daughter Chloe, is relishing the challenge of keeping the company ahead of the competition. “It’s an enormous privilege to be made joint managing director. I am looking forward to moving the business forward over the coming years,” he said.

Ben, also from Harrogate and married to Sally with a young son, Jonty, is the sixth generation of the family to work at the firm, which was founded by William Roberts in 1852. He echoed his brother’s comments: “This is an exciting time as we are also making a new multi-million pound investment in new machinery.”

Mr John Roberts, who was presented with a gold watch to celebrate his 45 years at Roberts Mart, is looking forward to taking more of a backseat. He’s confident the younger generation will strengthen the company’s position as a leading provider to the printed film and flexible packaging industry.

He said: “This is a time of change and a great opportunity for new blood and new ideas. During the next 12 months the company will be specifically targeting the food and beverage sectors, especially those wanting own brand products that require competitive printed film.”

The firm counts a number of household names among its customers and in 2005 it secured the much coveted British Retail Consortium Institute of Packaging (BRC/IoP) accreditation following an inspection of its state-of-the-art Aire Valley site, by the Product Authentication Inspectorate (PAI).

Background Information

Roberts Mart and Co. was founded in 1852 by William Roberts as a paper merchant in Lady Lane, Leeds. Handmade bags were followed by progression into commercial printing before the company set up in its Bank Mills premises in 1892. In October 2004, Roberts Mart moved to a newly built state-of-the-art factory based n the Aire Valley area of Leeds, which was formerly opened by His Royal Highness The Duke of York .

There has always been a Roberts at the helm and the new joint Managing Directors William and Ben Roberts are the sixth generation of the family to be in charge.

Continual investment in both bag making and printing equipment has seen the group grow while maintaining its independence.  It has continued to diversify to the point where it is the market leader in household textile packaging and in 1991 was granted a patent covering the manufacture of a roll pack carrier bag suitable for containing pillows and continental quilts.


William Roberts, Managing Director, Robert Mart and Co. Ltd, Aire Valley House, Thornes Farm Way, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS9 OAN, Telephone 0113 202 6500 or Fax: 0113 202 6550 – Email:

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