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174-year-old newspaper publisher closes printworks

Norwich-based Archant has announced the closure of its printing plant, which employs around 96 staff.

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Archant closes its printing plant

The newspaper publisher, which publishes the Eastern Daily Press and The New European, has entered a new agreement with Newsprinters (a News UK subsidiary), Menzies Distribution and Smiths News for the printing and delivery of some of its print portfolio.

The Thorpe Print Centre in Norwich printed some of Archant’s newspapers, including the East Anglian Daily Times, The Comet, The Newham Recorder, The Hunts Post and Gt. Yarmouth Mercury.

The printing of these papers will now transfer to Newsprinters Broxbourne which runs 12 XXL Manroland Colorman presses.

The “majority” of staff at the £40m print facility will transfer to one of the named third-party suppliers but have been warned of some redundancies, Archant says. The company did not confirm how many jobs were at risk.

The firm attributes “continuing reductions” in paginations and quantities of its newspaper portfolio for the review of the printing of its titles and the decision to outsource to “more modern” print plants.

The Broxbourne printing plant is one of the largest and most technologically advanced in the world

Archant’s chief executive officer Jeff Henry, who is stepping down from the position after five years, comments: “Archant is committed to delivering the best possible service to our readers and advertisers in the most cost effective manner.

“The Broxbourne printing plant is one of the largest and most technologically advanced in the world which will ensure we continue to deliver the highest quality printed newspapers to our readers in the most cost efficient manner.

“I would like to thank the teams at Thorpe for their dedication and the great service they have delivered to our business, over many years, whatever the challenge.”

The Thorpe Print Centre has been operational since 1996, running six manroland Goss HT70 presses and four manroland Goss Cololiners for full-colour tabloid newspaper production.

Newsprinters’ managing director, Darren Barker, adds: “We are delighted to be working with Archant and look forward to supporting them with a comprehensive print and delivery service across all of their weekly and daily titles.”

Archant has an annual turnover of around £150m and employs 2000 staff across England and Scotland.

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