Welcome to December’s ACPME Despatch

It seems a long time since the #ACPMEfamily came together in June at Belton Woods for our successful and energetic in-person conference. We hope you enjoyed the post-conference edition of Pages magazine and that life is treating you and your colleagues well.

Don’t think it’s been quiet on the ACPME front. The new-look ACPME Board met face-to-face recently, members have been visiting each others’ units and working groups have formed to tackle shared challenges that will help shape the 2023 conference. This issue will expand on each of those. 

Booking is now open for #ACPMEConf23 at Chesford Grange, Warwickshire. This year you can book online for the first time. Do it now and make 2023 a year to remember.

Stephen McCann, ACPME Chair

Start thinking about your submissions for the 2023 ACPME Creative + Print Awards.

There’s a brand new category for 2023. Find out more here.


ACPME Annual Conference
Chesford Grange, Warwickshire 4–7 June 2023

Chesford Grange is a fantastic conference venue in the Heart of England.
Scroll through gallery to see images of the hotel.

Book now for
Early Bird savings!

The programme is taking shape and packed with energising sessions you can’t afford to miss.

The programme will have something for all ACPME members. It’ll be crammed with relevant CPD training, engaging speakers, active participation, valuable networking, relevant supplier engagement.

You’ll return to your office energised, bursting with ideas and feeling even more part of our supportive network..

Take a look at the provisional programme and book now.


Michelle Barraclough


Hi, I’m Michelle. I am the Business Support & Operations Manager at Print & Creative Services, UoS, and it is exactly what you’d expect it to be. I’m the colleague at work that everyone wants to know but nobody wants to be. If you want to get something done, you come to me.

What I enjoy the most is managing the service’s finances, working on improvement projects, the people, being organised and making everyone’s life easier. Yes, I love ticking things off my to-do-list, it brings a great deal of satisfaction.

I am excited to join the ACPME board and I have lots to contribute to the future success of the association.

I look forward to meeting you all at the 2023 Conference!

Michelle Barraclough
Business Support & Operations Manager
University of Sheffield, Print & Creative Services
Tel: 07855 979530

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Avril McSorley


Hi, I’m Avril, Print Services Supervisor, Edinburgh Napier University. I am new to the ACPME Board but been an active ACPME member for many years.

I have been involved in print since 1988 when I worked for NHS, Scottish Health Education Group, I was the print buyer for the organisation, dealing with a whole host of jobs and suppliers.

I then worked for a design agency dealing with newspaper ads, helping compile presentations for clients using the old-fashioned illustrations onto boards, typing up copy/content for brochures etc.

Scottish Equitable was my next stop, now known as Aegon, as a print buyer for them in the supplies department. 

Finally, I found my calling at Edinburgh Napier University where I have now been working for 20 years! I have been in my current role as Print Supervisor since 2011, getting involved with UMPG at that point, with my first conference having been at Cardiff.

My role has evolved over the last few years, looking at diversifying the products we offer.  We now offer on-line ordering for staff and students, also using XMpie software to upload templates making ordering easy. Looking at perfecting personalised prospectus printing in the coming months. 

Avril McSorley
Print Supervisor
Edinburgh Napier University
Tel: 0131 455 2486

Ollie Renshaw


Just a summer job, that’s what I said …. as a computer-controlled camera operator doing “dot projections” for the screen-printing industry where the dots where the size of golf balls and if you are old enough the top 20 album covers every Monday in Woolworths, that was one of the jobs, I quickly found that printing was the industry for me. 

Progressing to a  four colour planner on the contact frames and huge step and repeat machines doing the repro for the beer mat industry,  and then a revolution…. Digital,  I was lucky enough to be involved running a Xeikon DCP32 not long after they were launched in the UK, well talk about a trial by fire, the quality was crap, it broke down every two minutes and we once set it on fire after the operator didn’t put his fag out properly and kicked it under the press ! yes it was that long ago…. smoking by the press…. how times change

Digital print was a revelation and since those heady days of woodbines by the web, printing council tax bills for a local authority to visiting over 40 countries and living in hotels,  on aeroplanes for a global print/photobook software company, the family and the dog was getting a bit fed up of me never been home and just before the pandemic broke I ending up in the academic universe which has its own challenges and rewards in equal measure.

New ways of working, digital transformation and fighting the greenwash are all challenges we face, having a wide range of experience I feel I could add to the APCME community, specifically on a technology front, if we are to face these challenges head on we need to innovate like never before, automated workflows and cross media and making print “sexy” for the social media generation is an ambition along with nurturing the future generations for a slightly less smoky career in our wonderful industry.

(Photo is me visiting a customer in Kazakhstan, Erzan had me dress up in the national costume!)

Ollie Renshaw
Business and Systems Manager | Print and Mail Service
University of Leeds
Tel: 07368 851 538

Alan Stacey


Hi, I am Alan and if you don’t already know, born and bred in Lincolnshire.

I have worked for the Bishop Grosseteste University, in Lincoln, for the past 15 years, which coincidentally, is the same amount of time I have been part of ACPME, (originally GMPU).

Recently, I completed an MA in Senior Leadership and Management. Being both a Graphic Designer and Print Manager I have a foot in both camps.

Having served 7 years on BGU’s University Council it has given me a unique insight into the working of University Governance.

I look forward to making a positive contribution to the executive and listening to the concerns and expectations of our members.

Alan Stacey
Digital Print Services Manager, Bishop Grosseteste University
Tel: 01522 583713

Steve Thomas

Hi, I’m Steve Thomas the Creative Studio Manager at Lancaster University. I’m a photographer by profession but head up a talented team of print and creative staff here at Lancaster.

I have been a member of ACPME since its UPMG days and my first conference was Troon where I was introduced the to the amazing family of what is now the ACPME.
Creative Studio aspires to be an innovative and creative solution finder and I believe we are often at our best when we are challenged to do things outside our normal comfort zone, whether  that’s getting involved in flatbed printing, delivering graduation photography in-house or learning to fly and operate a range of creative and technical drone services.
As an ex Treasurer and board member of the ACPME, I am delighted to be given another opportunity to serve on the board and I look forward to meeting you all at the 2023 Conference!

Steve Thomas
Creative Studio Manager
Lancaster University
Tel: 01524 592069

Working hard for you

Scroll through gallery to see images from the ACPME Board meeting

Organising a conference with a full and varied programme, engaging members across the UK and working with sponsors takes hard work.

The new ACPME board and supporters
(Creative Scrum and Sovereign Conference) spent two days at the 2023 Annual Conference venue in

We thrashed out an outline programme, detailed how the venue will work best for all delegates and suppliers, assigned new Board member roles and discussed how we can best support and encourage you all. Serious-looking faces? That’s because they are doing serious work for you all.


New Board member Ollie Renshaw recently took his boss around a few sites, and Rob has been kind enough to send us a few lines….

They visited Loughborough University, University of Leicester, Sheffield Hallam University and University of Sheffield.

In Summer 2022 as part of the development of the new strategy for the Print & Mail Service at University of Leeds we undertook a visit to a number of University printing services. As a team it was an extremely valuable exercise as we were able to see first-hand the impact covid19 had had on their services and their business recovery plans.  We were able to spend dedicated time with print staff in their environment learning and understanding their operations, business models and proposed future plans. This allowed us to reflect on our own thinking both in terms of understanding initiatives and services that were being successful in the sector and how also opportunities for development that we hadn’t considered. Personally, I found it particularly beneficial as it gave me great insight into the printing sector and opportunities that this sector can deliver to our University campus through the investment in both core services and new technologies.

Rob Wadsworth, Interim Commercial Director, University of Leeds

Share and share alike

As well as visiting others, Ollie and the team University of Leeds also hosted Raymond Dickson, Print Unit Supervisor, from the University of Glasgow.

Like visiting other ACPME teams?

Great news, at #ACPMEConf23 Mark Udall and the University of Warwick will be opening their doors for you to visit while you are nearby. Two birds with one stone… Book your place now.

Having met Ollie from Leeds at the Annual Conference in June, and discussed their capabilities, myself and Ross Clements, along with our Print Manager Callum Williamson, made the journey down to Yorkshire for an in-person look at their operation. We were specifically interested in the work they were doing in the automation of the process, from customer web submission to the delivery tray of their equipment. Ollie and his team were only too happy to share knowledge and discuss ideas. There’s nothing quite like visiting other universities to see how they are tackling the same issues we face. Another reminder of the networking value we get from the supportive #ACPMEfamily. We are sincerely thankful to the team for a very informative visit to what is an impressive operation.

In late November we had a visit from Chris Woods and colleagues from Warwick University. They were on a tour Glasgow’s IT Services looking at its setup, in particular our MFD fleet setup. On that visit, the team paid a visit to our Unit where we gave them the tour and discussed how we are all moving forward after Covid and how both universities have diversified its product offering to produce more display materials in the wake of the dip in volume print. The guys were hugely interesting to talk to and it was useful to hear about their plans for the future.

Raymond Dickson, Print Unit Supervisor, University of Glasgow

The ACPME design community get together

On 22 November around 15 members of the ACPME design community got together to discuss brand management software. This was organised by Adam King after several members fed into the email thread regarding the solutions on offer. Institutions in attendance included Plymouth, Nottingham, Leicester and Loughborough to name a few.

 The chat included pressure on in-house design teams to deliver multiple social media assets in several sizes across various platforms. The potential to offer other branded templates to free up designers time. The discussion focussed on the suitability of using services such as Canva Pro, Binder, Frontify, Outfit and Adobe Express.

Contact Adam King if you would like to join future discussions on this topic.

It’s a subject that will feature at Chesford Grange in June.


If you’re planning a visit to another ACPME unit, please let your Board know.

It could be a Regional or Special Interest Group meeting – events that help keep the network enthused and where best practice is shared.

Next Scottish Member Meeting
8 Feb 2023. All ACPME members welcome. Venue tbc.

2023 ACPME Annual Conference
4–7 June 2023. Chesford Grange, Warwickshire

Find out more

To discuss membership, sponsorship opportunities or annual conference please contact 
Jennie Mort, ACPME Administrator: 01527 893675 | admin@acpme.ac.uk
Contact address: Seven Elms, Dark Lane, Astwood Bank, Redditch, Worcestershire B96 6HB

Or feel free to contact members of our Board
Details here

The Association of Creative and Print Managers in Education, a not for profit private company, limited by guarantee. Registered in England and Wales No. 10244428. Registered address: Seven Elms, Dark Lane, Astwood Bank, Redditch, Worcestershire B96 6HB