Work moved to other plants

Walstead York halts production due to gas

An aerial view of the Elvington site taken over by York Media. Image: Google Maps
An aerial view of the Elvington site taken over by York Media. Image: Google Maps

Walstead’s York factory has been unable to run its press since last week after the gas supply to the facility was isolated.

The site runs a 48pp short-grain Lithoman.

Walstead reprised the former York Mailing commercial web operation in the summer of 2022 after YM Group’s web division went down.

It originally operated from both Hanger One and Hanger Two at the site, but last August Walstead announced the operation would be downsized to meet market demand, and would operate from Hanger Two only, giving up its lease on Hanger One.

However, Printweek understands the master meters for gas and electricity sit within Hanger One.

Hanger One is now occupied by Linda Boyes’ start-up York Media, which is poised to start adding power and gas to its MAN Lithoman IV 72pp-80pp web after completion of the initial press build installation phase.

Boyes, who is also a big customer of Walstead’s business in Poland, told Printweek she had been discussing the utilities issue with Walstead since January, and had flagged the key switchover dates of 1 July for gas and 1 August for electricity.

“I think I’ve been very supportive and understanding, and I told Walstead I was willing to help them until I needed power for my press. But now I have to think about the next phase of my project, the people I’m employing, insurance, liability and all those aspects,” she said.

“We will also need to turn the power off because the electrician quite rightly won’t work on the press unless that’s done. I don’t want anything to delay our start-up.”

To complicate matters further, subsequent to the York Mailing era Hanger One and Hanger Two are now owned by two different landlords.

Printweek understands Walstead has moved work that would usually be printed at York to its other plants, but this is also complex due to compatibility issues with the reel size used on the 48pp short-grain.

Walstead UK had not commented at the time of writing.