LLANDYSUL-based independent Welsh publisher and printer Gomer Press is to 'wind down' its publishing arm after 127 years in business, it has been announced.

The company, which will now concentrate on its printing division, has about 3,500 titles in print in English and Welsh and said the decision followed a strategic review, "thus ensuring the future" of its 55 employees.

Gomer said it would continue working with authors and the Books Council of Wales to publish scheduled titles.

In a statement issued by the company, it said: “Gomer, the printer and publisher, having considered the strategic direction of the company has decided to wind down its publishing department to concentrate on its printing division thus ensuring the future of its 55 employees.

“In the meantime, Gomer will continue working with authors and the Books Council of Wales to publish titles already scheduled, as well as continuing as a publisher for the 3,500 titles currently in print, ensuring royalties continue to be paid to authors, and the popular books can be printed as and when required.”

Gomer Press was first established in 1892 and is owned by the same family to this day. Jonathan Lewis, the great grandson of the company’s founder, is the current managing director.

He took over the reins in 1995 and is the fourth generation of the Lewis family to run the company.

Every year, they publish around 36 titles, specialising in books which have a distinctive Welsh identity.

Author Ifan Morgan Jones tweeted: "Very sad to hear that the publishing side of Gwasg Gomer, one of Wales' largest publishing houses, is coming to an end.”

Writer Jasmine Donahaye tweeted: "Wales can't afford to lose a publisher in either language, but the bad news that Gomer has decided to stop publishing is hardly a surprise. Sympathies to staff and authors in what must be an anxious time.

"With @GwasgGomerPress ending its book publishing, will @YLolfa now be the only printer-publisher left? Seems like the end of a cultural tradition that is particular to Wales, so the news about Gomer is doubly troubling."