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Jobs to go as Western Morning News press closes

18 February 10 18:56 GMT

The press used to print the Western Morning News and several other South West newspapers is to close with the loss of nearly 100 jobs.

The press owners, Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT), said there was unused capacity in the plant at Plymouth and closure would cut costs.

Most staff will leave at the end of February and a skeleton crew will stay in place for another six weeks.

Printing will happen in future at sites outside the region.

Employees 'devastated'

They are believed to include Didcot in Oxfordshire and London.

The plant also prints the Exeter Express and Echo, Herald Express, Plymouth Evening Herald, Mid Devon Gazette, West Briton, North Devon Journal, The Cornishman and Cornish Guardian.

When consultation began, the company said all current titles would continue to appear.

Terry Keefe, of the union Unite, said: "Clearly the employees are devastated.

"These are well-paid jobs and there is nothing for them to go to."

John Bird, managing director of Harmsworth, DMGT's printing arm, said: "The company would like to thank the staff for the way they have conducted themselves during this most difficult time which reflects the commitment they have always shown."

The printing press is in a predominantly glass-walled building shaped like a ship and was finished in 1992.

It was designed by the architect Sir Nicholas Grimshaw, with the press displayed like a great ship's engine room.

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