Archant plans move out of Norwich headquarters after 50 years

Archant is looking to move out of its headquarters in Norwich where it has been based for almost 50 years, the regional publisher has announced.

According to a memo to staff, seen by Press Gazette, the Prospect House building is said to be “starting to show its age” and is now “too big” for company’s needs.

More than 500 staff are based at the site in Norfolk, which previously housed its printing presses before the opening of the group’s Thorpe Print Centre outside the city in 1996.

This year alone Archant has announced a number of redundancies and title closures, as well as the sale of its local TV station.

Archant chief executive Jeff Henry told staff: “The building is starting to show its age and has become too big for our current needs.

“Maintenance costs are increasing and the heating, air conditioning and windows all need replaced.

“The last major refurbishment was carried out ten years ago at which time we expected to be able to extend the building’s useful life for seven years.”

He said the company was starting a “review process to consider our future space needs in Norwich” with a recommendation for a new headquarters expected in late Spring 2018.

Henry said Archant had a “strong preference” to remain “in the centre of Norwich” and that it was likely the regional publisher would remain in Prospect House until “at least 2019”.

Prospect House is home to Archant’s flagship regional daily newspaper the Eastern Daily Press.

It is also the base of local TV station Mustard TV, which Archant said last month it was planning to sell on after it had failed to make a profit with redundancies to follow as a result.

Archant’s interim financial results for the first half of 2017 saw it declare profits down 46 per cent year-on-year.

The group said it had cut almost 100 staff (a 7 per cent drop) since the start of the year to more than 1,250 full-time equivalent employees.

Picture: Google Maps

Comments

7 thoughts on “Archant plans move out of Norwich headquarters after 50 years”

  1. I quite agree, NR1. I was actually talking about Jeff Henry’s 10-year timescale, but when I think back to being at Prospect House in 2012, 2007 and 2002, the steady decline over each five-year period makes me think there is absolutely no way that the EDP, the EN or any of the weeklies will still be printed in 2022. The New European, however, will go on for as long as the chief content officer remains in post…
    The poor range of stories in today’s EDP highlights the decline. And whoever’s in charge might like to ponder that an opinion piece on the Labour conference by the political editor didn’t need a templated news slot, but should have been dressed up with a picture-bylined standfirst and the like. But, hey, all the experienced subs are long gone, aren’t they?

  2. …or wasting time money and resources on a ‘pop up’ euro moaners weekly.
    Your forecast of the cessation of printed papers in ten years is an ambitious one Archant Outsider, given the current and ongoing declining copy sales figure trends reporting thousands of lost readers every 6 month ABC audit I’ll give it 2-3 years max.either way you cannot run a business where you’ve lost your customer base and are unable to monetise the products to such a level as to make them viable.
    It’s not just the 2 Norwich daily papers either,the ailing raft of weekly papers who’ve lost their communities and copy sale base also rumble in as pale shadows of their former selves which must make them susceptible to short term closure.
    As far as the Norwich HQ building goes it’s in a prime retail and housing location so wil soon find a buyer but what if the staff currently sees there? And what next fur archant when you’ve sold your last remaining asset?

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