Award-winning IT specialist Cornerstone Business Solutions has unveiled the latest addition to its growing group of companies – Cornerstone Visual Media Solutions.
And the new company could hardly have announced its arrival in a more eye-catching fashion than with the deployment of two giant visual display screens – one at Teesside International Airport, the other at the entrance to Teesworks, the former steelworks set to become an engine of economic renewal.
The airport’s digital LED screen is 15 square metres in size, giving visitors and passengers instant visual information, while the Teesworks screen – at a colossal 90 square metres – is set to become a local landmark.
“We never planned it this way – going for big impact installations,” said Chris Bibby, who along with Chris Petty is one of the company’s two directors. “It’s just the way it turned out.
“Longer-term, we see Cornerstone Visual Media Solutions being primarily involved with small and practical LED screens – like the 21-inch screens you’ll see displayed to visitors at offices next to the hand sanitiser, or the 55-inch screens you’ll see increasingly installed in shops and offices and on street furniture in towns and cities.
“It was just that our first two real orders involved these two very large ‘statement’ screens for the airport and Teesworks.”
The giant screen components were shipped over from China in what amounted to a six-figure investment in high-quality technology for the region.
The Covid-19 pandemic meant transportation of the screens, which had to be assembled piece by piece after they arrived in the UK, was far from straightforward.
But the logistical challenges were overcome and have been worth it, both for Cornerstone Visual Media Solutions and their new clients.
Director Chris Petty reflected: “We’re a new company with a ‘can-do’ attitude – like all the Cornerstone companies are – so this was a great learning curve for us.
“And having successfully delivered major infrastructure projects like these, we’re confidently looking forward to talking to businesses across Teesside about their own needs and requirements.”
Matt Johnson, Teesworks’ development director, said: “Our new Teesworks gatehouse and entrance is our first chance to wow investors and visitors at the site. Cornerstone Visual Media Solutions’ massive screen is eye-catching and modern, which brilliantly sets out our ambitions for the whole of Teesworks, while being able to promote those job opportunities being created for local people.”
Phil Forster, Teesside International Airport’s interim managing director, said: “As we continue to grow our airline and route numbers, in turn increasing passengers coming through our doors, we need displays across our check-in desks fit for the 21st century. These great screens are part of our upgrade of the terminal, which will also help to bring in another crucial revenue stream through advertising.”
Chris Petty added: “The world is changing and Covid-19 is going to change it even more.
“The pandemic has accelerated so many processes and developments and we think the move to digital displays is one of those trends.
“A few years ago, LED digital screens were still quite rare in the region but they’re about to become commonplace because the technology has improved, prices have come down and it’s a great way for businesses and organisations to get their messages across.
“We think that over the course of time you’re going to see them on every bus corner, on shop premises, in offices and we wanted to offer people in the North-East a homegrown way to market.
“There’s so much economic regeneration happening or due to happen on Teesside and it’s important that we have local companies offering these solutions, rather than businesses having to look abroad.
“The fact we’ve just put up the biggest digital screen in the North-East and one of the biggest in the country makes a statement about what Cornerstone Visual Media Solutions can do.
“We’re now actively looking for further big projects to work on but it’s not all about big projects. We envisage doing thousands and thousands of installations for SMEs and local organisations in the years ahead.”