W Peters & Sons has parted company with the three local newspapers it has printed and published for more than 50 years.
Scottish Provincial Press has taken on the three titles, the Turriff Advertiser, Inverurie Advertiser and Ellon Advertiser and will begin printing and publishing these from 1 July. W Peters has been owner of the Turriff Advertiser, the oldest of the three since 1933 and the company has been the last independent family owner printer publisher in Scotland “if not the UK” says managing director David George.
“Like all newspaper publishers we have been aware of declining figures. This has been coming to a point over the last four or five years. We have known the guys at SPP, meeting them at meetings of the Scottish Newspaper Publishers Association. This was an ideal fit for them. They have titles around ten miles away from us, which makes this a nice fit.”
SPP will take on the editorial and ad sales staff as well as the printing of the papers. This will free up a day-and-a-half of much needed production capacity, says George. “We have been printing, folding and distributing the papers. All that goes to SPP using Menzies for distribution. Remaining staff stay with the print business.
“We certainly need the production capacity at the moment, making the deal a good fit all round,” he explains.
The company’s commercial print operation is on a roll and enjoying the benefits of investment in recent years. Around ten years ago it installed the first large format inkjet print and around four years ago moved into garment printing.
And this is paying off, he explains: “Commercial printing is crazy out the door at the moment. It’s growing dramatically for us. We have diversified into banners and more recently clothing, so we can now produce the logo design, invoice sets, the promotional printing, uniforms and banners for outdoor events that our customers attend. We are a real one-stop shop for them.”
When David George first joined the business in 1979 it was a letterpress printer with platens and Cylinders, later moving into litho and most recently digital. Litho continues to thrive despite the “excellent quality of digital. But still people want a particular job produced in a particular way they have been used to with litho. And litho is needed for longer runs. We have just delivered 55,000 scorecards for a local golf club."
By Gareth Ward
W Peters has passed its three newspapers to Scottish Provincial Press in Aberdeen leaving it free to focus on its commercial printing activities which are firing on all cylinders thanks to investment in services over the last ten years says David George, managing director.