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All Archant regionals to be printed in Norwich

Regional publisher Archant is claiming it now has the biggest regional newspaper printing centre in the country following an £8m upgrade to its Norwich plant.

The centre, which can print up to four papers and 320 pages at the same time, is now printing virtually all of the group’s four daily and 60-odd weekly titles.

Latest to make the move were the Islington Gazette and the Kilburn Times, while other papers have transferred there from as far away as Bristol.

The two-year project has involved increasing the number of printing towers from six to ten by purchasing four additional units from the Guardian Media Group’s Manchester centre where they were no longer required.

Some 400 tonnes of presses and 250 tonnes of concrete and steel were used in the installation of the four new towers.

An eight-hour shift can now produce over two million papers at full speed and the extra capacity means all Archant’s regional titles can be printed there.

Archant Print operations director Adam Woodruff said: “We now have much greater flexibility in what we can offer and we have extra resilience to back that up when on increasingly rare occasions everything does not go according to plan.

“Reduced ink consumption, sharper images, auto registration, automatic blanket wash and auto cut-off are all improvements and with the presses running more smoothly we can consistently produce better results.”

Managing director Nick Schiller added: “All parts of Archant Regional will have been touched by the project and should now be seeing the benefits of it. It has been produced on time, on budget and delivering everything that was originally intended.

“We have now in-sourced the overwhelming majority of our own printing requirements, which will help greatly in the current economic climate.

“The new front end allows all our products to benefit from FM dot screening. We are the only printer in the UK to offer this state of the art process to newspapers.

“With the completion of the project we have the ability to print every page of every Archant newspaper in full colour.”


David James (11/09/2009 09:46:59)
Congratulations to Archant who are making real positive decisions in the development and further progress of regional press.