JOBS are being cut at the former Blackwell Publishing in Cowley, which was sold to US buyer Wiley 18 months ago.

Wiley-Blackwell said the redundancy programme was being handled "with compassion" following the merger of Blackwell Publishing with US company Wiley.

The Oxford Times understands that ten staff have gone already this year in the journals and marketing departments, and that up to 25 accounts department jobs are to go.

Before the redundancies, the company employed about 1,200 people in the UK, of whom about half work at the Oxford Business Park and half in Chichester.

Wiley spokesman Julia Lampam said she could not confirm specific redundancy numbers.

She said: "The integration of Blackwell Publishing has necessitated some redundancies for strategic reasons.

"The majority of these have already occurred but there may be a few more as we go forward and discover synergies between the two companies. We recognise the human impact of each and every one of these redundancies, and endeavour to treat the affected colleague with fairness and compassion."

The job losses follow Wiley's £572m acquisition of Blackwell in November 2006. In May last year 50 redundancies were announced, and former Blackwell Publishing chief executive Rene Olivieri left in December.

Earlier this month, Wiley-Blackwell moved its book warehousing from former Marston Books - once owned by Blackwell but now based at Milton Park, near Didcot - to the Wiley depot in Bognor Regis.

Marston chairman John Halloran told trade magazine The Bookseller: "We're very sorry to see Blackwell go, of course. But this has been trailed for a long time and we've prepared for it. The only thing it will really do is slow our growth."

Mr Halloran did not expect any redundancies in his 150-strong workforce as a result of the loss. "In fact, we are increasing our staff numbers as we look to take more and more publishers on," he said.

In the past three years, Marston has added 45 clients and now distributes 65 publishers.

Mr Halloran and managing director Ross Clayton bought Marston from the Blackwell group seven years ago for £63,464, signing an eight-year deal to continue to distribute the publisher. In 2005 it had a turnover of £9.6m with a profit of just under £1.1m.

Ms Lampam said: "Blackwell has had a long and happy relationship with MBS. Our move away from MBS is strategic and does not reflect any disatisfaction with the service they provided.

"When Wiley acquired BPL, we advised them that we would be consolidating our warehousing and fulfilment operations into Wiley's existing distribution center in Bognor, which made good sense from a customer-service and economic point of view."