Archant swaps city base for spa town

The specialist magazine arm of Archant, Archant Specialist, has consolidated its four offices by closing its London branch and moving three national titles to Cheltenham.

The move disproves the ‘arrogant view’that a national magazine cannot be produced outside of London, according to the MD of Cheltenham-based Archant Specialist Lifestyle and Archant Life France, Miller Hogg.

The English Home, The English Garden and Heritage move from Chelsea to Cheltenham on 28 July. Only two editorial staff took up Archant’s offer to relocate, meaning 16 staff in London have been made redundant. However, 19 new jobs have been created in the Cotswolds.

Hogg said that there is an excellent pool of talent in the area, more so than in Essex where one of the company’s other offices is based. He said: ‘People said to me I was stupid when I started this process, and said I couldn’t possibly publish a magazine outside of London. We already were publishing three national magazines out of Cheltenham, we already knew we could recruit here and knew we had a good pool of talent within a 50-mile radius. That has proved correct.”

‘It’s an arrogant view. If you think [about it] the BBC has moved out to Bristol, you have Future in Bath, and so from that point of view we have people coming from Cardiff, Bath, Bristol, and Cheltenham.”

Hogg said that although only two staff wanted to relocate, they had a number of external applicants keen to move from London. ‘It’s a lovely part of the world and if you’re a certain age there are plenty of flats for under £100,000.”

Although the decision to relocate the titles was made before the current credit crunch, Hogg said that efficiency and cost saving were key factors in the decision to consolidate the four offices. ‘If you get yourself a big enough structure of any set of titles in one office, that allows you to have efficiency in terms of reception, finance, admin duties etc,’said Hogg.

‘London is very expensive. We had an office we couldn’t build in, we couldn’t grow into and we couldn’t take any other titles to, while we had two other offices in Saffron Walden [Essex] and Cheltenham where we had plenty of space available.”

rachaelg@pressgazette.co.uk

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