Staff pull out stops to get EDP out

A clean-up operation was under way yesterday in the aftermath of a blaze which halted production at the centre where the EDP is printed. Flames ripped through one of the six print press towers at the Archant Print Centre at Thorpe St Andrew on the outskirts of Norwich just before 9pm on Monday night.

A clean-up operation was under way yesterday in the aftermath of a blaze which halted production at the centre where the EDP is printed.

Flames ripped through one of the six print press towers at the Archant Print Centre at Thorpe St Andrew on the outskirts of Norwich just before 9pm on Monday night. Production was halted while four fire crews battled the blaze. Up to 35 people were evacuated from the building.

Mystery still surrounds the cause of the fire but staff at the centre believe it could take up to a month to repair the damage. The cost of the fire - which will include repairs and money lost through the disruption - is still being assessed.

Archant Print managing director Nick Schiller said: “The whole print team did a magnificent job in the circumstances.

“We had off-duty staff who came in to help at Thorpe and we brought a full crew into our other centre at Ipswich with only an hour's notice.

“Some drivers went over to Morton's in Lincolnshire and the distribution team did a great job of getting all the papers out.

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“We were also excellently supported by our specialist suppliers.”

A contingency plan immediately swung into action meaning that the EDP still hit the news stands yesterday morning, with 50,000 copies being printed in Lincolnshire and the remaining 25,000 being printed at Thorpe.

EDP editor Peter Franzen thanked newsagents for their help in ensuring the EDP reached the news stands.

“It is the first time in its 137-year history that the EDP has been printed outside Norwich,” he said.

“When contingency plans are drawn up, you hope you will never need them, but the emergency plan put together by Nick Schiller and his team meant the switch of production to our friends in Lincolnshire worked pretty smoothly.

“Ten years ago we would not have had the technology and would have probably lost the EDP. I was so relieved that we got a paper onto the streets. Even the Luftwaffe didn't stop the EDP, so it would have been a real blow to have lost an issue in these circumstances.”

We would like to apologise to readers for late deliveries in some areas yesterday as a result of the fire.