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£6.5m press deal to bring full colour to the Westcountry

A major development at Northcliffe Newspapers’ press centre in Plymouth will see it treble its colour production capacity.

The move follows a £6.5m deal with press manufactuer Goss.

When the upgrade is completed later this year the maximum colour capacity will be 128 colour pages in a 160-page tabloid, up from 48 pages.

The plant produces 2.5m newspapers a week – 130m a year – covering most of the Westcountry.

They include the Western Morning News, Evening Herald (Plymouth), Herald Express (Torquay), West Briton, Mid Devon Gazette Series, Cornish Guardian and Cornishman.

The site is also responsible for more than 40 contract titles a week, including the Daily Mail.

The press can currently print 32 colour pages from one end and eight or 16 from the other, or 48 pages in a 96-page publication.

The changes, which should be complete by the end of the year, will allow 64 colour pages from one end and 64 from the other.

Production controller at Plymouth, Tony Pomeroy said: “We’ll be aiming to build extra business through this but the main thing is the improvement it will make to out core products.

“For instance, we’ll be able to produce 128-page property supplements with full colour throughout, which is what all the estate agents want now.”

For the technically-minded, the upgrades will include seven Goss HT60 double-width press units which will be added to the existing press, which is itself due to be fully refurbished.

The current press hall, which serves Northcliffe’s Cornwall and Devon media and Westcountry Publications, was set up in its current configuration in 1992.

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