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Another 63 jobs go at Cheltenham publishing business Nelson Thornes following its merger with Oxford University Press

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Written by:   | Posted 23-April-2014 10:28

Another 63 jobs go at Cheltenham publishing business Nelson Thornes following its merger with Oxford University Press

More than 100 redundancies have been made at a county publishing house as the final chapter has come to an end.

A total of 108 out of 160 staff at Nelson Thornes’ Bath Road headquarters in Cheltenham have left the company during its merger with Oxford University Press.

The third phase of consultations with staff in the town took place last week and saw 63 redundancies. However, 17 Cheltenham colleagues secured ongoing roles within OUP during the final stage of the process, meaning 54 staff in total have stayed on with new roles.

The latest round covered editorial, finance, IT and production jobs and began at the beginning of last month.

Staff that remain can continue to work at the Bath Road office until the company moves out in March 2015.

Kate Harris, managing director of the Oxford Education division at OUP, said: “Retaining talented employees has been a key priority for us and I am pleased that 54 colleagues have taken up continuing roles within OUP.

“We take our employees’ wellbeing very seriously and we will be working hard to support all of those who have been involved in the consultations, whether they have secured ongoing roles or have taken redundancy.

“The Cheltenham office is expected to close by March 2015.”

“Wherever possible employees will be able to work in the office until it closes.”

There were 31 redundancies after the second phase of talks, which took place at the end of last year. At this point 19 staff secured ongoing roles within OUP. However, its online tutoring service iTutor ceased operation, as it did not meet market share targets.

A total of 113 redundancies have been made over the process, including five in Newcastle.

Nelson Thornes employed about 275 people in Cheltenham and Newcastle and covered a broad range of subject areas.

Products included Bond, for 11-Plus exam success and Kerboodle, a digital learning platform for secondary schools.

Earlier this year Nelson Thornes titles started to be published under the OUP imprint and sold and distributed alongside Oxford resources.

Kerboodle has been adopted across all OUP’s secondary digital publishing.

The Nelson Thornes website was closed in February.

OUP, which is a department of the University of Oxford, acquired the educational publisher in January 2013 and referred the acquisition to the Office of Fair Trading.

The OFT cleared the acquisition in May of that year, from which point Nelson Thornes operated as a standalone subsidiary while an integration programme took place.

OUP is the world’s largest university press, with offices in 50 countries and staff of 6,000 worldwide.

Nelson Thornes was formed in 2000 after a merger between Thomas Nelson, a Scottish publishing house founded in 1798, and Stanley Thornes Publishers, then owned by Wolters Kluwer.

In 2007 Bridgepoint purchased the educational division of Wolters Kluwer and formed Infinitas Learning, which operates across several European countries and included Nelson Thornes in the UK.

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