Polestar web offset plans 'on track'
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Polestar appears to have decided on the main location for its new web presses.
The group has lodged a planning submission with Sheffield City Council to extend its existing Sheffield gravure facility by more than 20,000sqm.
The new unit formed part of the existing planning application in 2004, which included the potential to extend the site in phases. The phase two expansion involves a new building adjoined to the existing factory.
Polestar’s representatives have lodged a planning amendment that states: "The original applications conceived of a scenario where Polestar would expand their operation on this site. The expansion is now required. This will meet requirements for expanded production space as well as providing covered loading space."
The initial installation involves two Goss International 96pp Sunday 5000 presses, which will be the first in the UK.
Last month Polestar chief executive Barry Hibbert told PrintWeek that he anticipated the group’s plans would be confirmed by the end of October. This week he said that the plans were "on track".
"Consultations with staff and unions continue. We have no need to announce location until necessary... in case we have to amend location due to planning permission and contracts, etc." Hibbert stated.
Polestar is known to be pitching for a bigger share of a tranche of IPC Media weekly and monthly magazines currently up for review. The print contract, believed to be worth more than £10m, includes titles from the publisher's Southbank, Inspire and Connect portfolios.
The work is currently split between Polestar and Wyndeham, with both companies battling to retain, or gain, from the fresh tender. Other potential suppliers such as Prinovis are also expected to pitch.
The current contracts expire next year and a decision is expected by early 2014.
It will be the first major UK contract to be negotiated under Guy Gleysteen, senior vice president for production, at IPC's US parent Time Inc/Time Warner. Gleysteen took over former manufacturing director Jasper Scott’s responsibilities in April.