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Editor shares sadness after daily’s printing moved off-patch

A regional daily’s editor has shared his sadness after printing of his newspaper was moved off-patch.

It has been confirmed Portsmouth daily The News will now be printed in Thurrock after the closure of the press hall at The News Centre in Hilsea, Portsmouth.

Daily Mail publisher dmg media has taken the decision to close the plant after purchasing it from JPI Media Print Holdings Ltd in 2020.

The News had been printed from the site, pictured, since 25 August 1969, when production moved from its former home in Stanhope Road.

Portsmouth print plant

In a message to readers, editor Mark Waldron said: “It is sad to see a chapter in the history of The News come to a close through the shut down of our press hall at The News Centre in Hilsea.

“But the beating heart of our operation – our trained and trusted journalists – remain based in the city and our coverage of Portsmouth and surrounding towns and villages will not be diminished by this operational change.

“We are proud to be the city’s number one news provider on our website and in the paper and remain committed to provide the news and information you need and to celebrate all that is good within our communities.”

The News is now printed at dmg’s site in Thurrock, Essex, and the paper says there will be no changes to delivery times across its circulation area.

Dmg previously said the move will probably lead to “significant job losses”, with a spokesman describing it as a “difficult but necessary decision”.

Gerald Vernon-Jackson, leader of Portsmouth City Council, told The News: “I’m sad that The Daily Mail has chosen to shut the site and the loss of jobs that are going to come as a result of that.

“I don’t think anybody expected when they bought it that it would close like this. It’s very sad. The Daily Mail hasn’t talked to us at all about this.”

He added: “We will try and talk to the Daily Mail Group to see what their plans for the site will be.

“Because it’s so close to where all the Territorial Army centres are, I would like to look to do some housing for veterans there.”