Our Heritage

As a company in our 30th year in business, not only do we have a vast amount of technical experience in our specialist fields, we have a great deal of experience in dealing with all types of customers, issues, problems, situations… and a proud heritage as one of the longest-established MPS suppliers in the UK.

Our company

This short overview video will give you some insight into our history, our achievements and the various industry accreditation we’ve attained, as well as some of customers we’ve assisted with their print solution requirements.

The timeline below will provide a more detailed look at the history of United Carlton over our thirty-plus years in business.

1987 - Company Formation

Carlton Business Machines is established, offering quality service in the sale, lease and support of photocopying services to North East businesses.

1996 - Sharp Supplier Accreditation

Since 1996, United Carlton have been an accredited in the supply and service of Sharp multifunctional print and copy equipment and print management software.

As a currently-accredited Sharp Centre Of Excellence supplier, we now have over 20 years’ experience in the sale and support of Sharp equipment and solutions. So, whether you’re an existing customer or a prospective one, you can be assured that when in partnership with United Carlton, you are dealing with a company whose knowledge and experience of Sharp solutions is not only longstanding, but a key part of the company’s ethos.

1998 - United Carlton Formed

United Office Systems and Carlton Business Machines, merge to create United Carlton. In partnership with global equipment suppliers, our reputation for unrivalled customer care grows quickly.

The five original directors from 1998 (from left: Warren Colby, John Ellis, John Watson, Mark Bryce, Michael Nelson) remain at the head of the company to this day.

1999 - Business Growth and Success

1999 saw United Carlton top £2m in turnover as the business continued to grow rapidly – double the total cumulative turnover for the company in the years 1987 to 1998, illustrating the huge strides made by the company in a short time.

1999 saw us win our first major Local Government contract, with Durham County Council, who renewed their contract multiple times over the following decade. United Carlton remain the only organisation to have won Durham CC’s print services tendering process more than once consecutively, having done so three times.

Global business software leaders Sage also became a customer in 1999, and have remained a valued partner ever since.

2004 - Sharp System Centre

United Carlton is accredited with a ‘Sharp System Centre – Silver Award’; as well as an Integrated Technology Partner.

The company has since further strengthened their ability in the supply and service of Sharp integrated office systems, and is currently recognised as an Integrated Technology Partner.

2005 - Continued Business Growth

In response to advancing technologies, United Carlton begins supplying, configuring and installing bespoke audio-visual solutions such as interactive whiteboards, touchscreens, video-conferencing solutions, video walls and large-format flat screen displays.

2006 - Higher Accreditation and Success

United Carlton’s focus on sustained improvement sees us achieve the Sharp Centre Of Excellence – Gold Award, only two years after achieving Silver status.


2006 saw United Carlton awarded our first large government tender outside the EU, with an agreement to supply East Riding Of Yorkshire Council.

2006 also saw us opening a second office in Pocklington to support the customer base in this area headed up by directors Adam Fawcett (pictured) and Nick Speight.

2007 - More Supplier Recognition

United Carlton is awarded with the title of ‘Toshiba Top Team’,  recognising the standard of delivery provided by us to our customers when supplying, configuring and servicing Toshiba technology.

2008 - United Carlton's Growth and Success Recognised

In the 2008 North East Business Awards, United Carlton were honoured to be selected in the running for the Company Of The Year award, eventually finishing second – still an achievement of which we were justifiably proud, coming only ten years into our current existence.

2009 - On The Move

United Carlton relocates both offices, North East and Yorkshire, into larger premises, in response to growth and increased headcount. Growing the companies is a direct response to customer needs, so as not to reduce quality, service, reaction time and low costs.

2010 - Further Growth and Success

United Carlton’s success in the public sector was further emphasised in 2010 as we secured extensions on our deals with Durham County Council, East Riding of Yorkshire Council, and both North and North East Lincolnshire councils.

Our business growth was also cause for celebrations as the company’s annual turnover reached £10m for the first time.

2013 - Sporting Sponsorship and Success

In 2013, even as our business continued to grow nationally, United Carlton sought to remain true to our north-east roots. We signed a sponsorship agreement with elite British Basketball League side Newcastle Eagles, to go with our existing agreement with Durham County Cricket Club. Both sides have brought success back to the region in recent times and we’re delighted to be associated with them.

2014 - Sharp Leaders Club

United Carlton’s strength as a dealer of Sharp’s MFP devices and integrated office solutions was recognised further in 2014. The company were commemorated as a member of the manufacturer’s elite “Leaders Club” – a distinction awarded only to elite-level Sharp dealers.

2015 - Growth and Giving Back

United Carlton’s ambitious development plans sees the company grow again, with a third office opening in Warrington, Cheshire.

We also achieve the Living Wage Foundation accreditation, which is significantly higher than the Government’s minimum wage, in recognition of our commitment to paying all of our staff a fair rate of pay for their efforts

2016 - The future

United Carlton,  30 years on. Through our years of growth, we’re proud to have maintained our core principles of providing secure, reliable and cost-effective managed print solutions. Roll on the next 30 years.