Heathfield printing firm closes for business

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A HEATHFIELD printing firm has closed down with the loss of 30 jobs.

Quentin Press - formerly based at a state-of-the-art business unit in Ghyll Road - finally shut its doors last Autumn.

The firm was owned by commercial print company The Gemini Group based in Shoreham-by Sea which has other subsidiaries in both Sussex and the West Country. In information released to the technical print media. Gemini said: “The company has shut down its loss-making Heathfield subsidiary, Quentin Press, at the cost of 30 jobs.”

The closure comes at a time when the former founder of Gemini, Nigel Holmes, who founded the business more than 40 years ago, died in July last year. After his death the firm made two new senior appointments. The new leadership was responsible for the decision to shut down Quentin Press, a commercial printer which handled mainly journals and magazines.

Gemini boss Steve Cropper said the company lost money in each of the last three years despite continued investment. He said: “It was going to take a massive investment to turn it around. We could not carry on funding it without putting the rest of the group at risk.”

Another print firm boss told the Express: “As you know, the industry has had a hard time of it recently. The recession has bitten deeply. Quentin was one of our suppliers and they were a first-rate company. We were very sorry to see them go.”

County councillor Rupert Simmons who heads the Heathfield Partnership added: “We meet this week to discuss ways we can support our business sector. I’m pleased to say shops in the town had a pretty good Christmas. The print industry has had a tough time and it is sad to lose quality jobs. We think local jobs should be able to support mortgages families must face when they buy homes in the area and these jobs were clearly very precious.”

Heathfield resident Roger Cruttenden retired from the firm two years ago. He said it was first set up as Errey’s Printers in the 1960s. The company was then renamed Ghyllprint before taking on the name of Quentin Press.