Media: Desmond commits to future of print media

Richard Desmond, chairman of Northern & Shell, reinforced his commitment to print media for the next 25 years and beyond last week, with the launch of his £100m printing plant in Luton.

Printing of the Daily Star has started at the new plant, with production of the group's other papers commencing during the next few weeks.

The presses have the capacity to print one million newspapers every three hours. Initially, the Luton plant will print Northern & Shell's newspapers, including the Daily Star, Daily Star Sunday, Daily Express and Sunday Express, jointly with the existing Docklands site, but all printing will switch to Luton by March 2012.

At an event held at the plant last week for journalists, Northern & Shell suppliers, Luton politicians and media agency buyers, Desmond said the print plant demonstrated his 'belief in the future of print media'.

Martin Ellice, joint MD of Northern & Shell, said: 'In terms of the print industry, this is a significant investment for the group. It is a significant step forward for our UK business. We believe in print media.'

Despite applying for planning permission for offices for 1,000 staff, Desmond said he had no plans to move the rest of the Northern & Shell staff from their Lower Thames Street building - 'either in the short or long term,' he stressed.

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