Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Ordnance survey maps stay in the UK

There was a snippet of news in last weeks edition of Printweek magazine which I though was worth a comment. Ordnance Survey which is the government run body which literally "maps" the UK is closing it's printing works and will no longer print OS maps. That's pretty sad news but the good news is that a British company has been awarded the contract to produce the maps which is excellent because I expected to read that they were being outsourced to China!

Anyway, it's the book and catalogue printer Butler Tanner & Dennis based in Frome , Somerset which has been awarded a four-year contract (worth £8m-10m) to print Ordnance Survey (OS) maps.

Butler and Tanner are the long established colour book printer who went bankrupt in 2008 but which was rescued by publishing entrepreneur Felix Dennis (pictured right). He's an interesting character having been the co-editor of the famous OZ magazine in the 1970's and who went to prison following the OZ obscenity trial of 1973 - have a look..   http://www.felixdennis.com/.  - he also recorded a single with John Lennon!

Apparently he rescued Butler and Tanner,  so that they could continue print his peotry books, although that's probably an urban myth! Since 2008 BT&D printers has been through much reorganisation but appears to be running well and in a sustainable way. Contracts like the OS maps staying in the UK is good news for UK print and I successful companies should be applauded.

Sadly we don't supply the paper for the maps ...maybe one day!

Posted by Justin Hobson 14.09.2010

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