Newsquest plans to close Colchester site with 80 staff at risk
By Adam Hooker Friday, 05 September 2008
Newsquest has announced it has entered into a 30-day consultation with 80 staff over a proposal to close its Colchester facility, which prints the Essex County Standard and the Colchester Gazette.
The news, which comes on the same day as the announcement that Trinity Mirror plans to cut 100 jobs, reflects the continuing cost pressure on smaller newspaper printing plants.
Managing director Wayne Hutton was quoted in the East Anglia Daily Times as saying: "The company is considering this course of action due to surplus capacity within the group. Caxton Court is one of Newsquest's older and least efficient single-width presses."
Unite has said that it expects Newsquest to go down the contract publishing route after announcing plans to close its Colchester facility.
Unite's Steve Sibbald said that he felt Newsquest would eventually follow similarly sized newspaper publishers in outsourcing its work.
He said: "This move is not any great surprise, the site only had one small press and it was an out-of-the-way location. Most printing will eventually be done in super sites and Newsquest's work will probably be done by one of those sites.
"There is so much over capacity and print time is going so cheap, a company the size of Newsquest is not going to spend millions on new equipment when it can contract that work out much cheaper.
"It is sad that local skilled people will lose the opportunity of working in the industry. And they will lose the opportunity, unless they fancy moving 1700 miles down the road."
Newsquest was unavailable for comment.
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