One of the largest publishing and printing houses in Wales is to close its publishing arm.
Gwasg Gomer’s workers in Camarthenshire have been told by the owner, Jonathan Lewis, that the publishing part of the company, based in the town, will close. The printing side on the company, in Llandysul, will remain in operation.
In a statement the company said: “Gomer printing and publishing has decided, after considering in detail the company’s strategic future, to gradually bring publishing to an end and concentrate on the printing department and in doing so protect the future of 55 staff.
“In the meantime Gomer will continue to work with authors and the Welsh Books Council to publish titles which are already in progress, as well as operating as a publisher for the 3,500 titles that are already in print, and ensure that royalties are paid to authors, as well as republishing popular titles when the need arises.”
The company was founded 127 years ago, in 1892, in Llandysul as a general store which is still in existance as the bookstore, Siop Ffab.
The company began printing and publishing after the owner and ancestor of the current owner, J.D. Lewis, brought a printing press to the town on the train from Brecon and installed it at the back of his shop.
The press has published some of the biggest names in Welsh language literature, including T. Llew Jones and Islwyn Ffowc Elis and, alongside Y Lolfa of Tal-y-Bont, is considered the most prominent publisher of Welsh-language books in Wales.
In 2017, eight members of staff left Gomer Press in Wales because of alleged discontent over the restructuring of the independent publisher.
The indie publisher announced a restructure of its publishing department to “ensure its commercial focus and deliver its business strategy”, resulting in the loss of two full time and one part time job.
This included moving the publishing department to Carmarthen.