Eight UK print associations unite to form the Graphics, Print & Media Alliance

GPMA raises the stakes for the UK print and graphic arts sector

Eight UK print associations unite to form the Graphics, Print & Media Alliance

London 27th June 2013 – A consortium of high profile print and graphic arts trade associations has come together to launch a new umbrella group to represent the joint interests of the industry as a whole. The Graphics, Print & Media Alliance (GPMA) has been established by eight trade associations to provide the sector with a single authoritative voice.

Founding members of GPMA are: British Association for Print & Communication (BAPC), British Coatings Federation (BCF), British Printing Industries Federation (BPIF), FESPA UK, Independent Print Industries Association (IPIA), Picon, the Process & Packaging Machinery Association (PPMA), and The Rubicon Network. GPMA’s aim is to represent the interests that these – and future members – have in common for a common purpose.

Commenting on the launch Peter Morris, Chairman of GPMA and Chairman of Picon, said: “We believe that we have taken an important step forward for the future of the UK print, media and graphic arts sector with the formation of GPMA. Our goal is to change the traditional craft image of print into one that is at the leading edge of advanced communication and manufacturing technologies. The industry is highly disparate and, while individual associations play an important role in representing their members’ interests, it is very clear we need to speak with one strong collective voice if we want to achieve change. We are now in the process of shaping the GPMA to bring the influence of the joint membership to bear in a variety of areas including  industry wide collaboration, planning, enhanced influence and managing change. The new alliance will also allow us to communicate, celebrate and monitor the sector in the future.”

Preliminary research by the GPMA has highlighted several issues that the sector needs to tackle including: the industry’s out-of-date ‘old and dirty’ image;  the threat from electronic media; the commoditisation of print, lack of training; a shortage of investment; declining margins, an ageing workforce profile; and a lack of training.

The GPMA believes none of the issues is insurmountable, but is clear that the biggest challenge is the fragmentation of the sector. “If we can pull the graphics, print and media interests together we will be in a stronger position to have an impact on the problems the industry faces and improve overall sector performance”, says Morris.

“There are a variety of challenges that the sector, as a whole, has to address and we can only do this if we pool resources,” explains Morris. “To move forward, and argue our corner, we have to do so from a position of strength equipped with accurate industry-wide statistics and figures. One of the GPMA's principle tasks will be to gather well-sourced, accurate, data.”

“Today is just the start for the GPMA. We don't have the all answers or strategies planned out, but what we do have is a core of industry trade associations that are determined to pull together to develop strategies that will go to secure the long term health of the sector. It is an exciting project to be involved with and I look forward to unveiling new strategies, new research and a new and joined up industry sector”, concluded Morris.


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More information:


Peter Morris, Chairman t: 01438 832742 e: secretariat@gpma.org.uk  


Splash! PR + Marketing

Ruth Clark t: 01580 241177 m: 07767 261883 e: ruth@splashpr.co.uk



Founding members:


British Association for Print & Communication
Sidney Bobb, Chairman sidney.bobb@bapc.co.uk


British Coatings Federation (BCF)

Tom Bowtell, Chief Executive tom.bowtell@bcf.co.uk


British Printing Industries Federation (BPIF)

Kathy Woodward, Chief Executive kathy.woodward@bpif.org.uk



Peter Kiddell, Chief Executive peter.kiddell@fespauk.com


Independent Print Industries Association (IPIA)

Andrew Pearce, Chief Executive andrew@ipia.org.uk



Tim Webb, Executive Director tim.webb@picon.co.uk


PPMA (Processing & Packaging Machinery Association)

Chris Buxton, Chief Executivechris.buxton@ppma.co.uk


Rubicon Network

Clive Fricker, Director clive@therubiconnetwork.org