By Sarah Lagan
The Press Association is to take over the running of Trinity Mirror’s journalism training centre in Newcastle adding to its 50 per cent stake in the training and consultancy company The Editorial Centre.
It is understood that no money has been exchanged under the deal and Trinity’s staff are simply transferring to PA which will provide a certain amount of training courses per year.
The move comes after PA poached Trinity’s former head of editorial staff development Tony Johnston in the summer. He became PA’s head of editorial training and is leading the company’s expansion of multi-media training.
The training centre was also restricted under Trinity as the other major groups were reluctant to become customers of a rival publisher and there was little potential for growth.
The training centre was founded in the late 1960s as part of Thomson Regional Newspapers and transferred to Trinity when it bought the company in 1996.
Trinity Mirror’s editorial director for regionals, Neil Benson, said: “This move will provide a platform for further growth and will also guarantee Trinity Mirror a consistent flow of high-quality trainees.” Trinity said the move is not part of any cost reduction programme.
Trinity Mirror’s 16-week foundation course will be merged with the foundation course at The Editorial Centre.
Director of The Editorial Centre Peter Sands said: “The foundation courses in Hastings and Newcastle are almost mirror images of each other and it makes enormous sense to pool our resources to provide the best possible training for our customers.
“The deal not only gives us the services of some first-class journalism trainers but also means we now have four fully equipped training centres, two in the North and two in the South.”
The various offices will remain at the Newcastle Chronicle, the Journal and Sunday Sun where trainees can gain experience in a working environment.
The Editorial Centre is based in Hastings and has established centres in London and Howden, East Yorkshire.