Northern & Shell set to close Broughton Printers

Simon Nias
Monday, March 30, 2015

Northern & Shell is set to close its Preston print facility, Broughton Printers, with the loss of 91 jobs according to local media reports.

The Lancashire Evening Post, which is based on the same site as Broughton Printers, reported that staff at the print facility had been informed of its closure last week and were now in consultation.

Printing at the Preston-based factory will cease on 8 July, following Express Newspapers' decision to outsource the printing of its four major titles for the north of England to Johnston Press on a five-year contract.

A spokesman for Broughton Printers said: "It's a very sad day for Preston and for all of us. So many people have worked here for such a long time."

Broughton Printers was founded in 1988 and was acquired by Northern & Shell as part of its purchase of Express Newspapers in 2001. At its height the plant employed more than 200 staff and printed 11m newspapers per day.

Northern & Shell's "£100m print investment" in 2011 was set to included "an upgrade at Broughton Printers" according to the original press release, with confirmation of the successful vendor expected early in 2012.

It is not known whether the addition of dryers to Express Newspapers' four KBA Commander CT presses at its Luton site, which was mooted at the time of the plant's opening as a possible "phase two" investment, has gone ahead.

West Ferry and Broughton Printers chief executive David Broadhurst, who has since retired, said at the time that the addition of dryers would enable the Luton plant to print heatset and coldset, allowing it to bring magazine production (then outsourced to BGP) in-house.

"We’ve got the capacity for contract work. If we opt to take the dryers that will happen in phase two. It is something we have considered but we must make sure it is worthwhile doing it," he said.

Northern & Shell could not be reached for comment at the time of writing.


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