Frome company secures OS map contract

A company in Somerset has secured a four-year contract to print and finish Ordnance Survey (OS) maps.

Butler, Tanner and Dennis (BT&D), based in Frome, will take over from the Hampshire-based OS's own print service.

It is the first time in more than 200 years that Ordnance Survey (OS) has outsourced its printing operation.

The OS said it was also outsourcing its warehouse and fulfilment contract to Promotional Logistics, based in Nottingham.

BT&D managing director Kevin Sarney said the contract was good news for the business.

"The OS contract is a great testament to the company, the quality of our work and our workforce. We're very proud to have secured it," Mr Sarney added.

An OS spokesman said its warehouse operation would also be outsourced.

"The print and finishing contract has been awarded to Butler Tanner & Dennis Ltd in Somerset and the warehouse and fulfilment contract will be managed by Promotional Logistics Ltd, located in Nottingham.

"All [OS] staff will be given the opportunity to move to the new service providers under the Transfer of Undertakings, Protection of Employment (TUPE) legislation," he said.

The union Prospect expressed its "sadness and anger" at the move to switch the print and warehouse functions to private companies - potentially affecting 38 jobs.

Union spokesman Ben Middleton said: "The proposed savings are tiny in relation to overall annual turnover. These cuts will save around £6m over five years at an organisation with a turnover of more than £110m a year.

"It may seem a small number of jobs at risk compared to what is happening everywhere else, but our members fear this is the thin end of the wedge for the dismantling and dispersal of one of the country's oldest government departments."

In April 2008 287 people from Butler and Tanner were made redundant after parent company Media & Print Investments Plc withdrew funding for the company.

It reopened later that year with 90 workers, as Butler Tanner & Dennis, after being bought by publisher Felix Dennis for £500,000.

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