THE publishers of the Chester Chronicle are to close the press facility in Sealand Road as part of a plan to offer readers and advertisers major improvements to their award-winning newspapers.
Trinity Mirror North West and North Wales Ltd are to transfer printing of the Chronicle Series, North Wales Weekly News Series and Buy Sell group to other sites.
Most of the titles will be transferred in October to the Trinity Mirror press plant in Liverpool.
Next January the printing of the Chester and Flintshire Chronicles will be switched to a brand new press plant in Birmingham, resulting in the loss of 44 jobs.
However, 12 jobs will be created at the company's Liverpool plant and internal transfers will be offered where appropriate.
David Faulkner, managing director of Trinity Mirror Cheshire and North Wales, commented: 'Obviously we are disappointed that, after 229 years, The Chronicle will not be printed in Chester and that there will be some job losses.
'But we are all excited about the possibilities which become available under the new arrangements.
'The huge investment at Birmingham will enable us to produce newspapers of the highest quality with colour on every page and in any format we choose.
'This is good news for our readers and advertisers and will take The Chronicle - and our other important newspapers in Cheshire, North Wales, Wirral and Shropshire - on to new levels of excellence for the next 229 years.'
Graham Morgan, regional operations director for Trinity Mirror, said: 'This was a hard decision, not least because of the experience, professionalism and loyalty of our Sealand Road production staff.
'This move will provide our readers and advertisers with more colour and, for the Chester Chronicle, the opportunity to benefit from our brand-new printing facility in the Midlands which offers 100% colour and modern inserting facilities.'