Page last updated at 18:38 GMT, Friday, 2 October 2009 19:38 UK

Job cuts in Scotsman print move

Scotsman printing
The Scotsman will be printed at Trinity Mirror's Cardonald plant

More than 100 jobs are to go at the Edinburgh printing plant of The Scotsman newspaper group.

Owners Johnston Press told staff they intended to move printing of their flagship papers from the "ageing" Newhaven Road plant to Glasgow.

The Scotsman and its sister paper, Scotland on Sunday, will be printed at the Cardonald print works, which is owned by Trinity Mirror.

Almost 40 other titles will go to a print plant in Sunderland.

In common with other newspaper publishers, Edinburgh-based Johnston Press has been facing a sharp downturn in advertising revenue and circulation.

New arrangements

The 20-year old print plant in Edinburgh's Newhaven Road lacks flexibility for new development, having had homes built around it since it opened, the company said.

A statement to staff from David Crow, print division managing director, said new arrangements would use the newer print facilities owned by Johnston Press's rivals.

The Edinburgh Evening News will be produced in the News International plant at Eurocentral in Lanarkshire, already used for The Sun and The Times.

The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday will be printed at the Cardonald print works, used for production of the Daily Record and Sunday Mail titles.

The Falkirk Herald and Fife Free Press will be produced in Lanarkshire, the Stornoway Gazette in Cardonald, and almost 40 other titles will go to a print plant in Sunderland.

The deal with Trinity Mirror will also see The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday printed in Birmingham, improving its access to newsagents throughout the southern part of England.

This is obviously devastating for the staff involved in the Lothians region
Liberal Democrat MSP Jeremy Purvis

The Sunday title has been printed near London, but the daily has struggled with sales in England due to the time it takes to reach newsagents.

Michael Johnston, managing director of The Scotsman Publications Ltd, said the move would improve the service to customers, readers and advertisers, with better print quality, more colour pages and more flexibility.

With The Scotsman seen as a pillar of Edinburgh life since its foundation in 1817, Mr Johnston said the move to print it in Glasgow would not change that.

He said: "The Scotsman is a national title. It's got a more east coast focus. But from the point of view of the Scotsman's heritage, its journalism remains firmly rooted where it currently is".

"Our local titles remain Scottish local papers, edited and published locally. It's only the printing that is changing."

There was criticism from Liberal Democrat MSP Jeremy Purvis.

The finance spokesman 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 for saving Scottish jobs and for Scottish titles to be printed in Scotland".



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