About Us

Why Choose Merlin Packaging?

Merlin Packaging is a family business operating from a 23000 sqft facility within a 2 acre site based in the heart of West Yorkshire. We have custom built the facility around the model of business in line with Contract Packing and Packaging for the food industries throughout UK. Contract packaging with Merlin Packaging have landed an ‘A’ Grade BRC accreditation and Soil Association to handle Organic Foods.

We pride ourselves in delivering a quality and highly competitive service to all current and new customers, within Yorkshire and throughout UK.  We are focused on promoting professional and efficient service with competitive cost, whether it may be a large or small clients. We endeavour to satisfy all our clients' needs and requirements.  Below are a list of our services and capabilities. 

History

Merlin was founded by Ian Cracknell in 1999 after the collapse of the coal mining industry following a career of 22 years under ground.

Ian started selling bedding plants from an out-building loaned to him by his eldest brother in South Elmsall. This then followed by the introduction of selling maggots to the anglers. As this progressed numerous other angling products were introduced and before long he had established a small tackle shop.

As always, Ian was looking for opportunities to try and establish a viable business in a mining community which was very difficult following the political decision to close the mines leaving our communities deprived as the knock-on effected almost all retail shops pubs etc. An opportunity came along to enter into a partnership manufacturing fishing bait for a European market leading brand. After carefully studying, he made a decision to take up the offer. There were 3 other people in the partnership but neither of them had sufficient money to invest but had the recipe and the European brand contact. We set up with a small investment from Ian’s savings, which soon evolved into larger orders but more investment was required as the small out-building was far too small. Soon after, Ian found out that only he and one of the other partners were getting their hands dirty having spent all of his £10,000 savings, they had to make it work but also viable too. Ian made a decision to continue but only with the one other partner that was willing to put in the effort required. Other products were added to the range and more machinery was purchased again from his own funds.

After 2 years it became apparent that the partnership wasn’t working and soon after Ian was on his own and added personal as the business started to grow. Ian was not paying himself a wage as he lived on a small pension he received when was finished on Ill Health in 1999 from the mines. Things were getting very tight as more investment was required to service the European brand so a small loan was taken out which enabled Ian to expand and also launch his own brand into the market. In 2002, Ian opened a medium sized tackle shop in South Kirkby which was carefully planned and built up over the next 4 years. Ian was always looking for other opportunities within the industry and at this time Ian’s eldest son Lee had left school and joined the business. There was an opportunity to manufacture for an American company who was servicing the whole world with fishing bait and tackle and after careful studying and 12 months negotiating with the agent in Eastern Europe, several trips out there with NPD and field testing the product range was set and prices were agreed. The next big problem; premises were no longer big enough to service the demand and by this time Ian’s youngest son Adam left school and also joined the business. No contract at this point was drafted but knowing the Hungarian agent for almost 3 years and spending 3-4 trips a year out there seemed to have gained trust and a good relationship was built. In 2008, a redundant SR Gents sewing factory had become available on the market for sale which was a large factory premises on 2 acre of land on the Langthwaite Grange Industrial Estate where Ian rented current properties 3 in total to service the demand of the brands growing. After 12 months negotiating with the local council, a freehold purchase deal was agreed and the run-down factory had to be seriously renovated. Soon after, the Global opportunity had been put on hold due to internal business acquisitions which took priority over launching the range of products.

Having purchased a site of this size and the potential contract slipping away, Ian soon after sold the local tackle shop to release cash to renovate the premises and try find other work and justify the massive overheads. Six figures were invested in the facility to enable the factory to offer services in other sectors. 2010 saw the exit from the angling industry and into food and beverage as Contract Packers. 2014 Merlin was awarded grade ‘A’ BRC accreditation and 2015 Soil Association accreditation for handling of Organic food stuffs.   

For free consultation and quote, please call 01977 651349
or you can email us at enquiries@merlinpackaging.co.uk.


What We Offer?

Merlin Packaging Ltd, focused on promoting professional and efficient service with competitive cost, whether it may be a large or small clients. We endeavour to satisfy all our clients' needs and requirements, will do out best to meet your deadlines. Below are a list of our services and capabilities:

VFFS
Flow Wrap
Inkjet Coding
Automated Jar Labelling
Doy Pack Filling
Liquid Filling
Video