INM to close printing operation in Belfast in 2016
Independent News & Media Limited (INM), part of INM PLC, is to close its printing operation in Belfast, however, INM remains committed to its publishing business which will continue as normal.
The operation currently prints the Irish editions of several national newspapers together with many of its own titles, the company said in a statement issued this evening.
"The continuing decline in print volumes, together with the ending of a key contract with a UK publisher in Belfast combines to make the plant unviable. This unfortunately necessitates its closure, with the potential loss of up to 89 jobs," the statement said.
"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."
INM will hold discussions with the remaining publishers to find alternative arrangements for the printing of their papers before the Belfast printing operation closes, at the latest, in June 2016. They company said they will liaise with staff and update them on all developments.
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.
"However the closure of the printing operation means that the company’s office on Royal Avenue, Belfast is no longer appropriate. INM will therefore relocate to new offices in Belfast," the company said.
"The closure of the print operation reflects the wider global trend in declining newspaper circulations, and the rise of news consumption via digital channels. INM remains committed to its long term strategy of multiplatform news delivery in Northern Ireland."