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Chronicle printworks to close: Press jobs to go

The Essex Chronicle is moving its printing operation to the Westcountry in a move that will cost more than 50 jobs.

The paper, along with its sister paper the Brentwood Gazette, is currently printed in Chelmsford at the Westway, Widford site.

Their production will now be moved to the Northcliffe-owned Staverton plant which prints the Gloucester Citizen, Gloucestershire Echo and a number of weekly papers.

A factor in the closure is a decision by Trinity Mirror to print the Uxbridge Gazette, Ealing Gazette and Harrow Observer from their own Mirror Colour Print plant in Watford rather than outsource the work to Chelmsford.

The closure means 55 press and post press jobs will be lost.

Chronicle managing director Paul Kearney told the Essex weekly: “It is a particularly difficult time for long-term contract print opportunities and for investment that is needed in new equipment to improve facilities.

“We have looked at options but we have also to take into account that the press is one of the oldest of its type in the UK and would need considerable investment to continue to meet the increasing demands of potential customers.”

The Essex Chronicle is the region’s biggest-selling weekly newspaper and was launched in 1764 in Chelmsford. It is the longest established business in Essex and has been printed in the county town since it was launched.

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