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North Wales Newspapers invests £15.4m in new production facility

North Wales Newspapers is investing £15.4m in a new production facility which will bring increased colour availability and quality to all of its titles.

The family-owned newspaper group is to install a high specification KBA Commander 85 production line at a new production site on the Deeside Industrial Estate in Flintshire, North Wales.

The group’s titles, which include the three-edition daily Evening Leader circulating in Wrexham, Flintshire and Chester, the Denbighshire Free Press, North Wales Chronicle and Ellesmere Port Standard, are currently printed on site at NWN’s Mold headquarters.

But from late Summer 2007 they will all be printed on the new press, which is capable of producing 128 pages of back-to-back colour.

NWN managing director Kevin McNulty said the demand for colour had prompted the need for the new press, which will also be used for contract print work.

He said: “Our old press can’t satisfy the demands of advertisers and so there comes a time when you have to bite the bullet and make the investment.

“There will be a huge benefit to our titles with the availability of colour and all the modern registration devices will be built in which will mean there is a huge difference in the quality of the end product.”

The old press is being marketed for NWN by agents and has even found its way onto eBay.

Building work on the 2136 sq m site has begun and the giant press is due to be installed and commissioned during early next year.

The 85,000 cph Commander line will include four Pastomat reelstands, four 8-couple printing towers and two KF5 (2:5:5) jaw folders.

It will also offer an automatic reel loading system, automatic roller setting, pneumatic tool-less plate clamping, ink supply, variable web width, colour to colour and cut off registration and Oxydry blanket wash. The installation also includes an press control system with production planning, paper management and maintenance. Do you have a story about the regional press?
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