Colchester: 400 jobs saved at printing firm Polestar

FEARS that 400 jobs at a Colchester printing firm could be axed have been allayed after the company confirmed it would keep the town’s site operational.

The future of Polestar, which is based in Severalls Business Park, was under threat of closure after a 90-day consultation was launched in January.

It is owned by an American venture capital company although their day-to-day operations in the UK are undertaken by management in this country.

The Colchester branch – a six-press operation – has more than 250 customers, including a core of weekly titles and a variety of commercial catalogues.

The town’s MP, Sir Bob Russell, held a meeting with the UK chief executive Barry Hibbert at the House of Commons shortly afterwards.

In a letter sent to Sir Bob on Tuesday, Mr Hibbert wrote: “I am pleased to confirm that the consultation process for the closure of Polestar Colchester has been brought to a successful conclusion.

“After lengthy discussion and negotiation between management, employees and unions, we have been able to reach a broad agreement that brings about an improved cost base which will move Colchester from a loss-making plant to a profitable, free cashflow solution.

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“As we know, the structural issues around printing remain; however, this has certainly given the Colchester site a lifeline upon which to build and the factory will remain open.”

Sir Bob said: “I am delighted that a resolution has been found so that Polestar in Colchester will continue to operate.

“These are difficult times for the UK printing industry, and I did fear that the Colchester works and upwards of 300 jobs could be lost.

“I look forward to Polestar having a continuing presence in Colchester.”