Bungay book printer announces redundancy proposals after losing major contract

Bungay book printer Clays Ltd.
PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Bungay book printer Clays Ltd. PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

A leading Suffolk employer has confirmed it is looking at redundancies following the loss of a major contract.

Bungay book printer Clays Ltd.
PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Bungay book printer Clays Ltd. PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Bungay-based book printer Clays, which is part of the print and marketing services group St Ives, is believed to have sent out letters to around 120 employees announcing the news.

A statement released by the company said: “After a lengthy period of market share gain, Clays has recently been informed by one of its customers that they will be transferring their book production contract to an alternative supplier. As a direct consequence of this decision, Clays management have announced redundancy proposals on which they will be consulting with all employees affected.”

Clays managing director Paul Hulley added: “We are understandably disappointed with this news. We will work with all employees affected to find the best possible outcome.”

It comes following a report on the PrintWeek website which said that St Ives had lost its contract to produce monochrome books for HarperCollins, which will result in a multi-million pound hit to the group’s sales and profits.


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The report said St Ives had been informed that the publisher would not be renewing its contract with Clays, which expires on June 30. PrintWeek believes that rival book printer CPI Group has won the work.

A spokesman for the Unite union confirmed the organisation had members at Clays, but added: “We have no comment to make at this stage.”

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Waveney MP Peter Aldous said he was unaware of any redundancies, and he had spoken to officers at Waveney District Council, who too were in the dark.

“I am aware of the situation of the company and the challenges for the printing industry,” he added.

In 2016 it was reported that Clays had 700 employees working from the 19-acre base in Popson Street.

Simon Thompson, chairman of Bungay Events and Business Association, said: “We don’t know anything yet, but if there are redundancies it will be very sad and not very good for the community.

“But Clays have done really well for the community in the past, and we can trust them to pull out all the stops and carry on the brilliant work they have been doing for so many generations.”

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