(L - R): David Derbyshire, MD of Astra Signs, and Jim Kerr, MD of ADXBA.

Manchester signage firms merge to become Northern “powerhouse” with national presence

Two Manchester-based firms have announced details of a merger that see them become one of the leading full-service providers of both traditional and digital signage solutions in the country.

Digital signage solution provider ADXBA and bespoke architectural signage company Astra Signs will ultimately operate under one brand, whilst maintaining their existing identities and premises for the foreseeable future.

The combined business will retain all current staff and be led by ADXBA’s managing director, Jim Kerr, while Astra Signs MD David Derbyshire will take time out to travel and explore other interests.

Astra Signs has a track-record in bespoke architectural and traditional signage, supplying signage across the UK and Europe for clients such as Arnold Clark, Manchester Metrolink, Skechers and Bruntwood.

ADXBA is a provider of complete digital signage solutions to DOOH advertisers, transport hubs, and stadia. Following a successful diversification programme, ADXBA has enjoyed a period of growth in the last eighteen months, with projects including working with Manchester Airport on their £1bn transformation of Terminal 2.

David Derbyshire, MD of Astra Signs, said: “We’ve had opportunities like this before, but we’ve never found the right fit, so I’m very pleased that Jim is able to push this forward.

“Merging with ADXBA will provide Astra Signs with a national footprint, digital signage expertise and a strong technology base - giving the business a unique position in the industry. I am certain that the two businesses will do great things together.”

Jim Kerr, MD of ADXBA, commented: “We worked with Astra Signs on the Manchester Airport Transformation project and I was struck by their attention to detail and quality of their products.

“As well as benefiting from each other’s skills and services, this move will allow both companies to increase efficiencies through scale and to add real value to our combined customer base whilst innovating through technology.

“We’re all very excited for our future as a combined business and we’d like to thank David for his commitment to Astra Signs for the past 40 years.”

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