London – Walstead Group announces today that it is entering into a 45-day consultation with all employees at its Walstead Southernprint subsidiary in Poole, Dorset, which could result in the closure of the site.
The UK web offset printing industry continues to experience a substantial reduction in magazine printing volume with approximately 50% having disappeared between 2011 and 2018. This rate of decline has continued into 2019 and is expected in 2020 particularly as paginations and print runs reduce and unprofitable titles are closed.
Whilst Walstead has continued to win new volume in the UK the overall reduction in demand cannot be offset completely and this has necessitated in a review of capacity in the UK.
Should the consultation at Walstead Southernprint conclude in the closure of the site then the work currently produced there will transfer to the remaining three sites in the UK - Peterborough, Roche and Bicester where there will be adequate capacity to absorb the transferred volume.
Paul Utting, chief executive, Walstead Group, commented: “It has only been after much consideration that the decision to consult with the workforce at Walstead Southernprint has been taken and we very much regret the potential loss of jobs if no alternatives are found. 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 and can continue to provide a sustainable business to our clients during cycle .”