More than 100 jobs go as Johnston axes Edinburgh printing presses

FEBRUARY was the first time this blog flagged up suggestions that the future of the Johnston Press printing plant in Edinburgh could be under threat.

Then again in August, reiterating info that a deal had been signed with Trinity Mirror Printing.

The worrying thing was nobody from either camp challenged the claim.

Now we know why.

Some 106 jobs to go when the Newhaven site is closed for good in November.

As predicted, the Scotland on Sunday and The Scotsman will be printed at Cardonald by Trinity.

The surprise being that News International's state of the art site at Eurocentral will roll off the Edinburgh Evening News.

The remaining print work will stay with Johnston, but at their Sunderland site.

Today, Liberal Democrats finance spokesman Jeremy Purvis said: "This is obviously devastating for the staff involved in the Lothians region. 

“But it is also deeply regrettable that this will impact on scores of Scottish titles from Stornoway to Selkirk.

“We need to know what discussions the Scottish Government has had with Johnston Press not only for saving Scottish jobs and for Scottish titles to be printed in Scotland, but about the relationship between the Newhaven plant and Johnston Press’ plant in Leeds.”

It is understood the complexities of the deal struck between the groups have delayed any such announcement until now.

But the strong suggestion is the first Johnston group papers will roll off the Trinity presses within the next two to three weeks.

Distribution will also be affected moving to Menzies at Newbridge.

David Crow, the group's printing division MD, said: "Transfer of our Scottish printing operations will provide significant cost benefits and quality improvements.

"The proposal to move work outside of Johnston Press was heavily influenced by the need for significant investment in the existing newspaper press at COL and by a shift towards capacity consolidation in the newspaper printing sector."

Michael Johnston, divisional manager of Johnston Press Scotland, added: "From a publishing and editorial view, this move will benefit as we hope to make good use of improved flexibility, colour availability and quality."

The statement also added that the job losses were regrettable.


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