A £17m print plant has been opened to print the Bolton Evening News, Lancashire Evening Telegraph, Bury Times and 16 other Lancashire and Cheshire titles.
The owner, Newsquest, hosted a reception to mark the occasion.
The press, at Wingates, replaces the existing facility in Lostock, which has been printing the papers since 1987.
Its latest computer, water and ink systems contribute to a modern press capable of printing more than two million copies per week.
It has a fully-automated control system and the frames are all that remains of the original. The new centre has double the capacity of Lostock and will allow faster production, more colour and increased pagination.
Newsquest chairman Jim Brown said: “The great papers of Bolton, Blackburn and Bury, to name but a few, have played their part in the protection and development of their communities.
“The opening of this wonderful new plant and building represents a commitment by the company to the support given by the staff and the community.”
“Quite incredibly, running at a speed of 60,000 copies an hour, it can produce papers up to 196 pages – very different from the 16-page press that ran in the early 1900s.
“From my years working in Lancashire, I’m aware how everyone in the area is just as proud of their local newspaper as they are of their town’s history.
“Our newspapers share this proud heritage with their local communities and, with the very latest newspaper technology, they will continue to be their consciousness and voice.”
The new paper was destined to become part and parcel of the daily life of Bolton, and a family business which by the 1950s included a series of weekly papers, a printworks in Manchester Road, and a large carton making business in other parts of the country.
The story began in 1834, when John Tillotson was apprenticed to a printer and later married his employer’s daughter and took over the business in 1850.
The newspaper group changed hands several times over the years until Newsquest became part of the American Gannett company in 1999.
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