Regional publisher Johnston Press has signed a deal which will see half of its ad creation work outsourced to India.
The company announced plans last month to transfer work away from centres in Leeds, Sheffield, Peterborough and Edinburgh to a partnership of the Press Association and Express KCS Ltd, with the loss of around 60-70 jobs.
The contract has now been signed by Johnston Press, despite discussions still taking place between the regional publisher and affected staff.
A number of workers are believed to have expressed an interest in transferring to India but have only been offered salaries in Indian Rupees which are the equivalent of of around £2,000 a year - compared to their current wages of around £20-25,000.
Robert Berkeley, CEO at Express KCS, said: “The newspaper industry is in the process of transition. Express KCS’s world-class advertisement experience enables publishers to benefit from the economies of outsourcing at a time when cost reduction is high on the agenda.”
Express KCS and PA signed a partnership deal last November to offer creative production services to newspaper publishers in the UK from production centres in India.
The deal with Johnston Press is the first one signed since then and it will see Express KCS produce adverts for the regional publisher’s portfolio of newspapers.
The work will be carried out at Express KCS’ three production centres in India, which produce thousands of print and digital advertisements daily for brand owners and publications around the world.
As part of the contract StudioOnline, Express KCS’ cloud-hosted production workflow system, will be integrated with the Miles33 advertising databases used by Johnston Press.
Johnston Press’ announcement about the plans said it would expand its service desk in Sheffield with seven new roles in traffic and workflow management and affected staff could apply for these vacancies.
The company plans to retain its creative services teams at Carn, Sunderland, Portsmouth and Preston.
Johnston Press has declined to comment further.