Northamptonshire Telegraph staff could be working 'mobile' in town after Johnston Press closes main office for repairs

The Johnston Press office in Rothwell Road, Kettering. Picture: Google Maps

Journalists at the Northamptonshire Telegraph have face uncertainty as to where they will be working after it was announced their office is to be closed for refurbishment.

Press Gazette understands staff have been told about the closure of the office, in Rothwell Road, Kettering, at short notice and will need to relocate from as early as next week.

A spokesperson for Telegraph publishers Johnston Press said 10 people were affected by the closure, which was happening to “allow for some urgent repairs to the office”.

They added staff were expected to work temporarily out of another office, about 15 miles away, where sister titles the Northampton Chronicle and Echo are produced, or will be “mobile” in the town. Alternative space in the town was also being explored as an option.

The spokesperson said they were “very keen to stress” the group was “not moving out of Kettering for good” and that they wanted to ensure “staff are back there permanently as soon as possible”.

However they did not say how long the refurbishment would take or when staff could hope to return.

It is understood the lease on the existing Kettering office is up for renewal in 2017 and is larger than the needed for staff numbers.

Johnston Press is thought to be looking for alternative space in the area for when the lease runs out.

One staff member told Hold The Front Page: “We have no alternative offices and have not been told where we will be working from now on.

“Many staff are on holiday and some who have worked here for several decades will not be able to come back again as they are not back from their holidays in time.

“The company wants the offices back to remodel them before returning them to the landlord. Apparently they have to be returned to their original state.

“Given the office opened in 1997, JP bosses have obviously realised this will take longer than they originally thought and are kicking us out within a week.”

The move also affects the Harborough Mail team, who moved to Kettering after Johnston Press closed their office in 2014.

The Northamptonshire Telegraph was one of five dailies turned into a weekly title by the publisher in 2012. Its last ABC audit in 2012 recorded a total average circulation of 19,314 copies.

Picture: Google Maps

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