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Urban explorers gain access to Aylesford Newsprint and document paper making process with fascinating photos

By Ed McConnell

Last February the huge site off Station Road closed, with 290 people losing their jobs.

The shock announcement came just weeks after workers were offered pay rises, and in 2013 the company had recorded a turnover of £139 million.

Pictures of the abandoned Aylesford Newsprint site. Picture www.28dayslater.co.uk

Pictures of the abandoned Aylesford Newsprint site. Picture: www.28dayslater.co.uk

But in a statement, administrators said the business had been making a loss for several years and could not continue.

The rise of digital media and a flooded marketplace were blamed for the closure.

Almost a year on, urban explorers gained access to the plant for the first time, bypassing security to navigate the corridors and giant machinery rooms and documenting their experience with a series of fascinating photographs.

An explorer calling himself ‘Maniac’ posted an in-depth report into the trip on online forum 28 Days Later last week.

At 28 metres high and 100 metres long the storage room could hold up to 10,000 tonnes of paper. Picture www.28dayslater.co.uk

At 28 metres high and 100 metres long the storage room could hold up to 10,000 tonnes of paper. Picture: www.28dayslater.co.uk

Aylesford Newsprint closed almost a year ago. Picture www.28dayslater.co.uk

Aylesford Newsprint closed almost a year ago. Picture: www.28dayslater.co.uk

Maniac said the exploration had been a while in the making, with several previous fruitless trips to the site.

Security at the paper mill is high, with regular patrols of guards with dogs keeping potential intruders away.

Maniac took advantage of the festive period and explored the mill with another user known as KentUrbex.

They charted the paper making process through pictures, from the warehouse where most of the recycled print in the South East ended up to the gigantic production machine, PM14.

PM14 is 100m long and 10m high and paper can rush through it at 60mph.

PM14 produced massive rolls of paper. Picture www.28dayslater.co.uk

PM14 produced massive rolls of paper. Picture: www.28dayslater.co.uk

The product would have then transferred to an even larger storage facility, measuring 100m by 28m and with room for 10,000 tonnes of paper.

A spokesman for administrators KPMG said W & S Recycling has bought the two paper mills, equipment and buildings to sell and will not restart paper production.

What is not sold will be taken away as part of the deal.

KPMG is still trying to sell the land and will be seeking planning approval before going to market.

Click here for more pictures.

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