Company:Magnadata Group

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Magnadata International
HeadquartersHorncastle Road, Boston, Lincolnshire, PE21 9HZ
Area served
Key people
Roy Colclough
Chief Executive
ProductsSmart ticketing systems
ServicesPrinter servicing
Revenue£34 million
DivisionsMagnadata USA, Magnadata Pty

Magnadata Group, also known as Magnadata International, is a specialised printing company in Boston in Lincolnshire. Since 2010 it has had the national contract for producing the UK's train tickets. It is one of the main companies in Europe that can produce magnetic ID cards for a company's workforce. It claims to be a global leader in RFID (radio-frequency identification) technology. The technology is referred to as smart ticketing.



Dapag had been formed in 1943. It made machines for printing tickets, labels and tags. It was based at Plumtree Court in EC4 in London, near where the A40 and A201 meet at Holborn Viaduct. It employed around 170 staff.


Norcros was founded on 29 May 1956. Dapag was part of Norcros. The name Norcros comes from Normanby, North Lincolnshire, home of Normanby Hall. A Director of the company was John Vincent Sheffield, former High Sheriff of Lincolnshire from 1944-5, and great-uncle of the wife of David Cameron. Other members of the Sheffield family - Edmund and George - were directors.

Norprint International was based on Norfolk Street in Boston. It had a division on Valley Road in Dovercourt on the Essex coast with 550 staff. Norprint also made ticket printing machines. Norprint claimed to be Europe's largest producer of industrial and retail labelling systems, and the largest in the world outside of America.

In early 1968 it helped to start the I'm Backing Britain campaign, by running off the promotional stickers for free. Before the days of barcodes in supermarkets, Norprint made hand-held price labellers, used by the main supermarkets; these were made in Harwich.

In April 1989 it received a Queen's Award for Technological Achievement for its magnetic striped and encoded tickets and payment tokens.

Norprint produced tickets for airlines and the London Underground. It was owned by Norcros plc.

On 25 June 1998 Norcros put Norprint up for sale. In July 1998 Norprint was bought by a management buyout (MBO) for £13.7 million. After the buyout it was known as Norprint Labelling Systems.

In 2005 it developed the Nortag, a small inconspicuous RFID label on products to combat shoplifting, which won The Queen's Award for Enterprise: Innovation (Technology) in April 2005.[1] It is known as electronic article surveillance (EAS). The Nortag took seven years to develop.


On 7 December 2000, Magnadata was visited by Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, in his capacity as Vice-Chairman of British Trade International, being accompanied by Bridget Cracroft-Eley.

In February 2006 Magnadata, also based in Boston, bought Norprint.[2] Norprint had around 220 staff and Magnadata had around 200.

UK train tickets

In 1987 Magnadata was the first company to produce magnetic strip tickets for British Rail. For this it received the Queen’s Award for Technology in 1989; it was the first printing company to receive this award.

In August 2010 it was awarded the £24 million contract to produce the magnetic strip tickets for train tickets in the UK for the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC). This is for around 750 million tickets a year at over 2500 railway stations.[3]


It is based in the north of Boston in Lincolnshire on the B1183, which follows alongside the Maud Foster Drain. Haven High Academy, a secondary school, is next door.

Magnadata USA

Magnadata USA is based in Toms River, New Jersey.

Magnadata Pty

In May 2002 it bought Spectron Transit Tickets Pty Ltd, of Australia, which is now Magnadata Pty, based in St Marys, New South Wales.


Norprint is a subsidiary of Magnadata. It has thirty printing presses running 24 hours a day at the site in Boston, and claims to be the largest printing facility in the UK. It produces over 10 billion labels per year. Norprint claims to be the UK's largest distributor and reseller of thermal transfer ribbons for printers.


  • Energy tokens for gas and electricity smart meters
  • RFID labels
  • Magnetic rail tickets


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