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. Profits down 46% y/y and the ailing EDP cooy sale crashed to around 34,000 copies – 3-4% of the potential in its area it’s not just the guiding that needs a major overhaul

    And if Henry really thinks he or the EDP and NEN will still be around in 2019 to see these changes then it
    just confirms how out of touch he is, this latest proclamation from the man who said archant would be the top regional news publisher in the country by 2017 when in fact they must be amongst the contenders for the worst.
    Time for a new broom to sweep out the old wreckage inside prospect house and for the company to put in place professional business and media people capable of running a business albeit one in rapid decline

  2. Like the situation in Ipswich, Archant will no doubt find much smaller premises – with little or no car parking – in readiness for the point over the coming 10 years when the company gives up on printed newspapers. (And that can’t be far off, the Evening News will surely go within the next 18 months.) Before then, however, there’s rumours of a new CMS set-up which would result in a few more staff being shown the door.
    Word is that Archant was interested in the building across Rouen Road until the NHS walk-in centre moved in.
    Whatever happens, though, the company could have stayed at Prospect House if some people hadn’t been stupid enough to seriously think they could make a financial success of a local TV channel.

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