Job losses threat­ened at ma­jor print­ing firm in city

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - New Year Honours List - By Stephenbriggs

Work­ers at a Peter­bor­ough print­ing firm face an un­cer­tain start to the year af­ter be­ing told their jobs could be un­der threat. The staff at the Wyn­de­ham print­ing plant in Storeys Bar Road, Peter­bor­ough, were told a con­sul­ta­tion over re­dun­dan­cies and down­siz­ing their op­er­a­tions was be­gin­ning last month.

It is thought that a third of the180­work­er­scould­los­etheir jobs as a re­sult of the ac­tion.

The firm, which pro­duces pub­li­ca­tions in­clud­ing The Econ­o­mist, FT Mag­a­zine and Mar­ket­ing Week, said the de­ci­sion to down­size wasasare­sult of a de­cline in the mar­ket.

The con­sul­ta­tion also af­fects the Heron plant in Es­sex, which could see 34 of the 240 staff lose their jobs.

In a report in Print Week, Wyn­de­ham chief ex­ec­u­tive Paul Ut­ting said: “The mar­ket for web off­set print­ing is con­tin­u­ing to de­cline, and fur­ther con­sol­i­da­tion and re­struc­tur­ing of this type is in­evitable as com­pa­nies re­spond to the re­duc­tion in de­mand.”

He said the rate of de­cline equated to be­tween15per­cent20 per cent over a two- year pe­riod.

“That’s about £ 50m of vol­ume dis­ap­pear­ing, which is the equiv­a­lent of a cou­ple of fac­to­ries.

“We are de­ter­mined that all our busi­nesses re­main able to com­pete in this ever- chang­ing mar­ket.”

Peter­bor­ough MP Ste­wart Jack­son said he hoped staff would be able to keep their jobs when­the­con­sul­ta­tion­fin­ished.

He said: “Any large scale change like this is go­ing to be wor­ry­ing for peo­ple.

“We­want­tostart­theyearby re­cruit­ing new highly skilled jobs for the city.

“I hope this is only a con­sul­ta­tion, and they don’t make any­one re­dun­dant. This is ob­vi­ously very sad and de­ves­tat­ing for the peo­ple in­volved, es­pe­cially at the be­gin­ning of the new year.”

Iain Crighton, chair­man of the Peter­bor­ough Cham­ber of Com­merce, said it was dis­ap­point­ing to hear the news.

He said: “It is very sad when busi­nesses have to cut back on staff num­bers, par­tic­u­larly af­ter Peter­bor­ough had a year of good news in terms of em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“I think this shows that although there is a level of op­ti­mism­creep­ing into busi­nesses at the moment, 2013 will still be a tough year for the econ­omy.”

ThePeter­bor­ough­plant­was for­mer­lyrun­byStIvesWeb, but was taken over by Wal­stead In­vest­ments, which in­cludes Wyn­de­ham, in April 2011, in a £ 20 mil­lion deal.

Wyn­de­ham Print­ing in Storeys Bar Road

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