Mid Wales

Gomer Press staff 'leave over restructuring process'

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Eight members of staff have left Gomer Press because of alleged discontent over a restructuring process, BBC Wales understands.

A source said employees in the publishing department were told they must apply for new posts as their current roles will be terminated.

The process started a few weeks ago and four posts have since been advertised.

Gomer has refused to confirm or deny if any members of staff have left the business due to the restructuring.

Based in Llandysul, Ceredigion, the company styles itself as "Wales' biggest publisher", printing fiction and non-fiction books in Welsh and English.

Since the process began, it has advertised four roles - a Welsh language editor, an English language editor, a promotional officer and a digital market officer.

BBC Wales understands there is unhappiness among staff and those that have left include Ceri Wyn Jones, the English language editor and Elinor Wyn Reynolds, the Welsh language editor.

Another former member of staff told BBC Wales there were real concerns about the impact of the restructuring - and a danger Gomer Press could lose expertise and talent.

'Important contribution'

They were also worried about the decision to move jobs from Llandysul to Carmarthen - about 20 miles away.

In a written statement for BBC Wales, managing director of Gomer, Jonathan Lewis, said the purpose of the current restructuring was to secure a firm commercial footing for the company.

He said four jobs have been advertised and the company was hoping to appoint staff by the end of March.

Mr Lewis and Meirion Davies - another senior manager - refused to answer any further questions about the number of workers that have left or are leaving, and whether their departure was linked to the restructuring process.

Several authors who publish books with the company, and a former member of staff, have expressed concerns about experience and skills being lost from the company, and the potential impact of losing these jobs from a rural area such as Llandysul.

The Welsh Books Council said it was aware of Gomer's plans to restructure. In a statement, it said: "The press has a very important role to play in the publishing industry in Wales and the Welsh Books Council wish to see it flourish.

"Gomer is a commercial company and it's important to the literary world in general that they succeed as a business.

"Any period of change is difficult for all involved with the process, especially in a small family company such as Gomer Press. We are confident that things will settle down ad that the press will continue to make an important contribution to the Welsh publishing industry."

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