Dorset

Southernprint closure: 179 jobs at risk in Poole

Walstead Southernprint factory in Poole Image copyright Google
Image caption Walstead is holding a 45-day consultation with Southernprint's 179 staff

A printing plant that produces magazines for some of the UK's best known publishers has been earmarked for closure.

Walstead Southernprint, based in Poole, Dorset, has begun a 45-day consultation with its 179 staff.

Owner Walstead said the proposal was the result of falling magazine volumes.

The Unite union, which has about 40 members at the plant, described the news as a "serious blow" and a "very grim time".

Unite regional officer Bob Lanning said he was seeking an urgent meeting with Southernprint's management to discuss the rationale behind the decision and to see what could be done to save the site.

'Maximum support'

He said: "This is a serious blow to our members, their families and, more generally, the regional economy.

"As a union, we will be giving our members maximum support during the coming days and weeks at what is a very grim time."

Walstead Group said magazine printing volumes had declined by about 50% between 2011 and 2018, and were expected to continue falling.

Chief executive Paul Utting said: "We very much regret the potential loss of jobs if no alternatives are found.

'Remain competitive'

"However, the UK's web offset printing sector continues to face significant structural issues and an ongoing reduction in capacity across the industry is inevitable.

"We are determined to restructure our business to ensure that we remain competitive."

Walstead acquired Southernprint from newspaper publisher Newsquest in 2009.

It said the work produced there could be absorbed by its other plants in Bicester, Peterborough and St Austell.

According to its website, Southernprint's clients include Immediate Media - whose titles include BBC magazines such as Good Food and Top Gear - and Bauer Consumer Media - publisher of Heat, Take a Break and Grazia.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites