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Middlesex University Press to close

Middlesex University Press is being shut down at the end of the year, after senior management deemed it "irresponsible" to invest further in the company.

In a letter sent to authors, Waqar Ahmad, chairman of MUP, said the move came following a management review last year, which resulted in separating the press from the print management service Lithgo. This left the press wholly owned, and wholly subsidised, by Middlesex University.

In the letter, seen by The Bookseller, Ahmad said: "Major investment would have been required to grow the business and, in my view, in today's financial climate it would have been irresponsible to make that investment with no guarantee of a satisfactory return.

"I therefore consider that the continuation of Middlesex University Press as part of Middlesex University to be untenable."

He added that "with much regret" the company would cease operation "entirely" by 31st December.

MUP is now in discussion with distributor Central Books and publisher Cengage Learning "with respect to termination", with more details forthcoming, Ahmad said. The press declined to comment further.

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An unfortunate event but one that would have been repeated tenfold throughout North America in recent years if their respective institutions were not so much more financially stable. It's tough in publishing but especially so at the Uni Presses. Sad.

This is a very unimpressive piece of investigative journalism. Catherine Neilan has missed the opportunity of interviewing the authors and others associated with Middlesex University Press to get a true picture of why it is being closed. Instead she has allowed Waqar Ahmad's evasive, bland and unsubstantiated letter to stand. 'Wholly subsidised' would be hard to support. It would be interesting to find out the real reasons for closing a thriving and highly successful university press with an impressive and diverse list of titles and authors.

Hi Artemis. I am looking into this story this week, and would welcome any information from anyone - authors, or press employees, or anyone associated with the company. Please feel free to email or call me on the matter. A longer, and hopefully more investigative, article will follow shortly, but in this case it was important for us to get the basic facts out as quickly as we could.

Artemis - I don't think your comment is particularly fair. We constantly call for the Bookseller to be first breaking stories but can't throw our toys out of the pram when we aren't presented with an immediate full feature. Will see what further is found out but a sad day for MUP.

A fair comment from Noodle - Catherine Neilan was right to run with what she had - unreserved apologies!

An unfortunate event but one that would have been repeated tenfold throughout North America in recent years if their respective institutions were not so much more financially stable. It's tough in publishing but especially so at the Uni Presses. Sad.

This is a very unimpressive piece of investigative journalism. Catherine Neilan has missed the opportunity of interviewing the authors and others associated with Middlesex University Press to get a true picture of why it is being closed. Instead she has allowed Waqar Ahmad's evasive, bland and unsubstantiated letter to stand. 'Wholly subsidised' would be hard to support. It would be interesting to find out the real reasons for closing a thriving and highly successful university press with an impressive and diverse list of titles and authors.

Hi Artemis. I am looking into this story this week, and would welcome any information from anyone - authors, or press employees, or anyone associated with the company. Please feel free to email or call me on the matter. A longer, and hopefully more investigative, article will follow shortly, but in this case it was important for us to get the basic facts out as quickly as we could.

Artemis - I don't think your comment is particularly fair. We constantly call for the Bookseller to be first breaking stories but can't throw our toys out of the pram when we aren't presented with an immediate full feature. Will see what further is found out but a sad day for MUP.

A fair comment from Noodle - Catherine Neilan was right to run with what she had - unreserved apologies!