Falkirk print plant to close

THE printing plant ‘where it all began’ for The Scotsman newspaper owners, Johnston Press, are to close, with work to be transferred and an estimated 40 posts being made redundant.

In a statement issued by the newspaper publisher, “following a detailed review, Johnston Newspapers Scotland proposes to cease printing operations at Falkirk and transfer pre-press operations currently carried out at Tweeddale Press Ltd and Johnston (Falkirk) Ltd to Edinburgh”.

That’s the Edinburgh printing plant where The Scotsman is produced.

It’s understood the Falkirk print plant has been in operation since 1845.

The switch – which includes the printing of the Falkirk Herald – is expected to be completed by August 24.

Continues the statement: “Prior to any implementation, affected employees will be consulted extensively on an individual and collective basis. In the event this proposal goes ahead, the company will endeavour to minimise the impact on affected people through consideration of voluntary redundancy and redeployment.”

But the planned move has drawn criticism from MSPs.

Local MSP, Michael Matheson, has proposed the motion: “That the Parliament condemns the decision by Johnston Newspapers to cease operations in printing the Falkirk Herald in Falkirk from August 2007; notes that Johnston Newspapers was founded in Falkirk and for over 200 years has continuously printed the Falkirk Herald in Falkirk, making it the largest-selling local newspaper in Scotland, and believes that the decision should be re-evaluated and that the same loyalty should be shown to the workforce and town of Falkirk as has been shown to Johnston Newspapers by the people of Falkirk district.”

Supporters include fellow MSPs, Bob Doris, Christine Grahame, Alex Neil, Gil Paterson, Brian Adam, Bashir Ahmad, Kenneth Gibson, Rob Gibson, Robin Harper, Jamie Hepburn, Bill Kidd, Dr Ian McKee, Christina McKelvie, Stuart McMillan, Hugh O’Donnell, Cathy Peattie, Sandra White, John Wilson, and Dr Bill Wilson.