Written by: Keith Tully
Published: 24th February 2015
A newsprint company that has been operating in Kent for over 90 years is entering administration after struggling to cope with financial pressures on its business.
Aylesford Newsprint has applied to enter administration and left 300 employees uncertain of their future employment with the company.
"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,” a spokesperson for Aylesford Newsprint said on Monday February 23rd.
More information is expected once administrators have been appointed to manage the affairs of the business, which has been producing in excess of 400,000 tonnes of recycled newsprint on an annual basis for the past several years.
The company was first established in 1922 and has been providing local employment on a considerable scale from its manufacturing facilities ever since.
“It’s absolutely devastating news,” said Tracey Crouch, Conservative MP for Chatham and Aylesford on hearing of the company making its application to enter administration.
“Dreadful news about Aylesford Newsprint seeking administration. I will be doing all I can to support company, 300+ employees and customers,” she tweeted.
Speaking to Kent Online, Jo James, chief executive of the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, said: “Kent has centuries of paper making 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.”
Employees of the business had reportedly been aware that their company was struggling to stave off financial difficulties but it was thought that Aylesford might be able to avoid entering administration this year.
Unite union representatives have described the administration as a major blow for Aylesford employees but also for the local economy. However, there is hope that there may still be a future for the company as a functioning business with administrators set to be appointed.