Rupert Murdoch today opened News International’s new printing plant in Glasgow.
Alongside the First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond, Murdoch cut the ribbon to the Eurocentral plant, which the company claims houses the largest and fastest press in the world. The plant will will print Scottish editions of The Sun, The Times, the News of the World and the Sunday Times.
The plant is the first stage of a £650m project to open new plants for News International. Other sites in the pipeline include Knowsley, near Liverpool, and Enfield in North London.
The plant will be operated by Newsprinters (Eurocentral) Ltd, part of News International’s new printing division.
The company said today it hoped to generate additional revenue by offering the plant’s large printing capacity to third-party publishers – Newsprinters has already entered into a long-term contract to print The Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph.
Murdoch said: ‘We are unveiling the largest and fastest print press in the world. This new plant can produce 86,000 copies an hour of a full-colour newspaper up to 144 pages in size.
“That is three times the speed of our old presses and provides readers and advertisers with greatly improved quality.
“These new presses will greatly add to the choice we are offering our audience.
“They are already giving readers and advertisers high-quality colour and greatly improved print values on newspapers that can reach the furthest corner of Scotland with late-night news and sports.”
First Minister Alex Salmond said: ‘Next year, we celebrate the 500th anniversary of Myllar and Chapman printing Scotland’s first book – and the beginning of the Scottish passion for the printed word.
“Scotland was also among the first countries to have a newspaper in regular print. So it’s no surprise that newspapers have played such an important role in Scottish society since they first appeared, shaping opinion, stimulating debate and keeping Scots up to date with what’s going on around them.
‘This new state of the art printing plant sends out a clear message that one of the world’s largest media companies has absolute conviction in the future of print journalism – and in Scotland as a fantastic place in which to do business.’