Dear friends of SilverPan,
As I'm sure you're aware, the environment for small business is really tough at the moment and film photography labs are unfortunately not immune to that pressure.
Since the acquisition by Analogue Wonderland last summer we have worked hard to maintain SilverPan's separate website and Bristol presence for our premium film processing services - investing in the technology, stock and staff to try and keep ahead of the curve.
Unfortunately the dual challenge of continuous rising costs and fundamental issues with the site's infrastructure has meant that the location is no longer viable, and we have had to make the difficult decision to close the lab at Two Mile Hill Road.
We have done everything we can to avoid this situation and I am truly gutted.
I've known Duncan personally and professionally for the past 6 years, and we've shared many brainstorming sessions and late nights since the summer to try and head off the inevitable.
We looked at alternative sites in the Bath / Bristol area to keep the local presence but there was nothing that worked. I am so sorry for the situation - there are no winners - and I know that this news will be upsetting for many members of the community. If there was any way to carry on then we would have taken it.
What happens next?
We are working through the details with the team at the moment, but the broad plan is to bring the equipment and skills to High Wycombe to share space with Analogue Wonderland's lab. This will allow us to share the overhead costs, benefit from the stronger local infrastructure (predominantly plumbing and internet), and simplify the postal service and website work.
The SilverPan service has always been a shining light for the UK film community - renowned for an exceptional attention to detail, customised development options, and fantastic results. We are in the process of establishing how to maintain those qualities and services in a different location, as well as looking after our people who each have unique needs through this change.
In the short term we will stop taking new sales through the SilverPan site while we do this work.
What does this mean for our customers?
If you have an order placed through the website or in our lab then do not worry. The team are continuing to work through the usual processes and your photography will get the same level of care and attention as you expect from SilverPan. We have the site for the next three months so there is no immediate rush or urgency.
If you are a local customer then I am truly sorry that we will be losing the Bristol connection. We investigated other potential sites in Bristol and Bath to try and stay in the area but could not find an option that made financial sense.
If you are an online customer than I ask that you bear with us as we work through the necessary logistics. As soon as we are confident that the equipment and chemistry is safely set up in the new space then I will let you know, and you can place orders once more!
If you are desperate for a film development order in the short term then of course I can recommend Analogue Wonderland. If you can't see the service you usually use on our site at the moment then please drop us a line and we'll do all we can to meet your needs.
Thank you for your patience and understanding. Changes like this are never fun - but we will continue to fight for the future of film photography!