'For future DR plans, capacity will be tighter'

Reach outsources after Oldham outage

Some of Reach's own daily newspapers were printed elsewhere

Reach Printing Services had to enact disaster recovery plans this week after a power issue crippled its Oldham facility.

Printweek understands the power problems began on Tuesday (13 February) and has left the site unable to run its six Wifag Evolution newspaper presses.

Reach Printing Services is part of media group Reach and produces the PLC's own titles, as well as being the biggest third party contract newspaper printer in the UK for clients including The Guardian.

Alongside relocating some work to its other sites in Watford and Cardonald, a source close to the situation said that Reach had scrambled to outsource printing of some of its own newspaper titles to DMG Media’s Dinnington plant in Yorkshire and News UK’s Knowsley print factory in Liverpool, which are both much closer to Oldham than the other Reach sites for distribution purposes.

“They’ve printed the Mirror at Dinnington and the Star and Express at Knowsley,” the source said.

“It sounds like the entire Oldham facility is down.”

The situation also raises an interesting question about the likely options to move production around in the future if needed.

DMG’s Dinnington plant is set to close, along with its Thurrock site, as part of the joint venture print consolidation plan agreed between DMG and News UK that is currently subject to a CMA review.

“Once that merger goes through there will just be two big factories at the joint venture.

“For any future disaster recovery plans, capacity will be tighter,” the source noted.  

At the time of writing the issue at Oldham appeared to be ongoing.

Printweek has approached Reach for comment.