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Print plants set to close with loss of 180 jobs

The Liverpool Daily Post and Echo has today announced that the press plant which prints both papers is to be closed over the next 15 months with production switching to Oldham.

Around 100 Liverpool print workers face redundancy as a result of the proposals, news of which was carried in this morning’s edition of the Daily Post.

Publisher Trinity Mirror is to invest £7.5m in an extension of its new colour presses in Oldham which came on line in December 2007. It is expected that a number of the displaced printers will be offered new jobs there.

In a separate development, Newsquest (Essex) announced the possible closure of a printing plant at Colchester which employs 80 people. It will mean the town’s daily Gazette title being printed elsewhere.

The changes at Trinity Mirror North West will mark the end of 154 years of newspaper printing in Liverpool, with the Daily Post switching production to Oldham in the next two months and the Echo by the end of next year.

Trinity says the switch will give readers and advertisers full colour on every page and enhanced print quality. It stressed there were no plans to switch the Echo to full overnight production.

However the company said it would have been uneconomic to replace the Liverpool presses instead of extending Oldham.

Regional managing director Sara Wilde said: “This has been a very difficult decision given our history of printing in Liverpool and the impact on people who we have worked closely with and who have given us such great commitment and service.

“However I believe that this is the right decision given the unprecedented challenges we face. We will now be able to offer our loyal readers and customers the product quality they deserve.”

The company is today embarking on a period of consultation with affected staff.

The Newsquest proposals relate to the possible closure of its presses at Caxton Court, Colchester, which currently prints the Essex County Standard and the daily Colchester Gazette.

Managing director Wayne Hutton said: “The company is considering this course of action due to surplus capacity within the group. Caxton Court is one of Newsquest’s older and least efficient single width presses.

“The consultation period is envisaged to last for 30 days and it is intended that during that period staff and their representatives will be able to raise any issues that they believe management should take into consideration when making the decision on possible closure.”

Mr Hutton said if the site was closed, the papers would be printed at other Newsquest sites.