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Printing press to close with loss of 34 jobs days after Newsquest takeover

More than 30 jobs are at risk after Newsquest announced plans to close the printing press of a family-owned publisher it purchased last week.

The company has informed staff of a proposal to cease printing operations at the former CN Group, in Carlisle, with production being moved to Glasgow instead.

The entire printing team in Carlisle are now at risk of redundancy including engineering,  press hall, mail room and print office staff, with 34 jobs in all set to go.

Newsquest completed the sale of CN, which had previously been run by the Burgess family for four generations, on 12 March.

However although the final decision to close the plant was taken by Newsquest, the company says a review of the printing operation had already been under way prior to the takeover,.

The review was launched by the previous CN management following the loss of a contract to print copies of the Metro newspaper in the North of England.

CN press

Titles published by CN include Barrow-based daily The Mail and the Carlisle News & Star, as well as weeklies the Cumberland News, Hexham Courant, Workington Times & Star, Whitehaven News and the Advertiser, which serves southern Cumbria.

They will now be printed in Glasgow alongside Newsquest’s flagship Scottish titles The Herald, the Evening Times and the Sunday Herald.

A statement published by Newsquest reads: “Prior to Newsquest’s acquisition, CN Group had lost a significant contract to print the Metro newspaper and the company’s former management team had commenced a review of its printing business.

“Following last week’s confirmation that Newsquest had bought CN Group, Henry Faure Walker, Newsquest’s CEO, visited the staff in Carlisle and, in response to questioning from the company’s printing staff, promised to move quickly to complete the review that had been started by the previous owners.

“Newsquest has now announced to staff its proposal to close the printing operations and to move the associated work to its Glasgow based presses, where its facilities have benefitted from substantial capital investment in recent years.

“A collective consultation process is now open and will last a minimum of 30 days before a final decision is made.

“This proposal in no way reflects on the service provided by the printing staff at Carlisle who have carried out a high quality print service for many years.

“The proposal is a result of the tough economics of the newspaper printing market, and an ageing press in Carlisle which even with heavy investment would not have been viable in a market where surplus capacity substantially outweighs demand.”

7 comments

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  • March 20, 2018 at 12:02 pm
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    I suppose the presses would have been a casualty even if the company hadn’t sold out, but Newsquest certainly didn’t waste any time. No doubt they’ll be eying up the staff numbers as we speak.

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  • March 20, 2018 at 12:17 pm
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    Shocking but totally unsurprising from NQ
    my comments,and those of others ,on the story last week about the take over have very very quickly come true
    https://www.holdthefrontpage.co.uk/2018/news/newsquest-completes-purchase-of-family-owned-publisher/

    but to be honest it didn’t take a genius to see clearly what would happen next as this is the way they handle take overs.
    34 jobs cut and 34 good people thrown on the scrap heap in a desperate attempt to try to recover horrendous losses due to poor decisions making and bad management in the recent past by NQ
    I just hope the directors and CEO of CN are pleased with themselves.
    To anyone else whose company is in talks with NQ, be afraid, be very afraid.
    Shocking

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  • March 20, 2018 at 3:13 pm
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    AA routeplanner shows Glasgow to Barrow being around 180 miles apart. I guess the Mail is now going to have a fairly early-evening deadline…

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  • March 20, 2018 at 8:42 pm
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    Obvious first move to start the process of saving the company.

    C’est la vie.

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  • March 21, 2018 at 8:04 am
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    @one time sub. I’m guessing that they are going via Menzies in Kendal or Carlisle which are 130 odd and 90 odd miles from press respectively. I also doubt the print runs are more than about 20-30 minutes and fit on a van as opposed to a lorry. It’s also pretty shocking at how little they will be charged for the transport of these and I’ve no doubt if Menzies do it themselves the deadline will likely be 0200 to be back at wholesaler.

    Could be way off as I never went that far North but it’ll be something along those lines regardless. NQ will make a square peg fit a round hole to save money either way

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  • March 22, 2018 at 11:09 am
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    Meanwhile, Government rewards Newsquest with dozens of public-funded local democracy reporters, while passing over smaller newspaper companies who’ve been far more loyal to their staff and far less reckless in their business affairs.

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  • March 23, 2018 at 11:57 am
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    It’s the Newsquest way of flint-hearted operating, sometimes.

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