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Recycling company Aylesford Newsprint in New Hythe Business Park to go into administration today


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Aylesford Newsprint is set to go into administration, the Kent Messenger can reveal.

The firm based in New Hythe Business Park, made the announcement to staff this morning.

More than 300 people are employed there, according to the company’s website.

Aylesford Newsprint
Aylesford Newsprint

It is not yet known how the decision may affect jobs.

Declan Slater, advisor to the board of directors at Aylesford Newsprint, said: “The company announced to staff this morning that it would be making an application to the courts to go into administration and expects this to go to court later today.

“When administrators are appointed they will provide more information.”

Tracey Crouch, MP for Chatham and Aylesford said: “The company is an integral part of our everyday life, not just in providing the paper which we read our news on but also for the recycling processes it provides for many of our local councils.

“I really hope that something can be done to enable a positive outcome.”

Last night she met with business minister Matt Hancock to discuss the future of the firm.

The JobCentre has already set up a dedicated rapid response team for staff who may be affected to offer advice on alternative employment and, if needed, benefits advice.

Loneliness Minister: Tracey Crouch
Loneliness Minister: Tracey Crouch

If redundancies are made, the MP will work with Unite to contact other mills in the county to see if they have vacancies for those with specific skills.

The firm produces on average 400,000 tonnes of recycled newsprint every year from 500,000 tonnes of recycled waste fibre.

Paper has been manufactured on the Aylesford site since 1922.

The company has been owned by US investment holding company Martland Holdings since 2012.

One member of staff, who did not want to be named, said he was given assurances that the company’s future was secure until at least 2016, following a pay rise this month.

He said: “The news has come out of the blue, but the industry has been declining the last few years.”

MP Tracey Crouch reacts to the Aylesford Newsprint news

Around half a dozen contractor workers are said to be waiting outside the plant while an administrator is appointed. They said they had been asked not to leave.

Tim Elliott, regional officer of Unite, which represents 150 staff at the paper maker, is due to meet with managers and shop stewards tomorrow.

He said: “This has come as a traumatic blow to the workforce and their families and also the Kent economy as it is one of the biggest employers in the area.

“I am meeting management and the Unite reps tomorrow to see what can be done to secure a future for the company.

Aylesford Newsprint in New Hythe Business Park
Aylesford Newsprint in New Hythe Business Park



“We will be doing all we can to assist our members at this very difficult time and will be talking to all interested parties.”

Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce chief executive Jo James said: “Kent has centuries of papermaking tradition and Aylesford Newsprint blazed a trail in recycling newsprint and it’s therefore very sad to hear of it going into administration after nearly a 100 years.

“The fact that they have applied to go into administration leaves hope that a successful outcome might still be found and it will remain a going concern.

“The impact of a possible closure would have wide reaching ramifications, not just for the 300 staff, but for the county’s supply chain and local community.”

Cllr Nicolas Heslop, leader of Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council The news has also shocked Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council.

Its leader, Nicolas Heslop, said: “I was very concerned to learn this morning that Aylesford Newsprint has gone into administration.

“The company employs some 300 people locally and its contribution to the local economy has been significant over a number of years.

“This news must have come as a complete shock to the staff and our first thoughts must be with them, their families and the local communities.

“We are working with other agencies, such as Job Centre Plus, to offer them support at this difficult time.”


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