INM to close printing operation in Belfast
Published 22/08/2015 | 02:30
Independent News & Media Limited (INM) is to close its printing operation in Belfast, with the loss of up to 89 jobs.
The printing plant, based in the city centre, currently prints the Irish editions of several national newspapers together with many of its own titles.
However, The Belfast Telegraph, owned by INM, is printed in Newry, Co Down.
INM, the publisher of the Irish Independent, says it remains committed to its publishing business in Belfast, which will continue as normal.
The Belfast Telegraph's 19th century office building on Royal Avenue will be sold, with staff moving elsewhere in the city.
Engagement with staff will start immediately, with redundancies to take place over the coming months, possibly into next year.
INM said the continuing decline in print volumes, together with the ending of a key contract with a UK publisher in Belfast, combined to make the plant unviable.
"This unfortunately necessitates its closure, with the potential loss of up to 89 jobs. The company appreciates the difficult situation this causes for employees and will begin a period of consultation with the workforce and their trade union representatives," a statement said.
Discussions will also be held with the remaining publishers to find alternative arrangements for printing their papers before the Belfast printing operation closes, at the latest, in June 2016.
The closure of the print division does not affect INM's news publishing division in Belfast, whose titles include The Belfast Telegraph, Sunday Life and Sunday World.
"INM remains committed to its long term strategy of multi-platform news delivery in Northern Ireland," the company said.