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Financial Times returns to historical City home after 30 years

Bracken House

The Financial Times has moved back to Bracken House in the City of London 30 years after it left the historical building.

FT journalists returned to the business newspaper’s former home on Monday from the One Southwark Bridge building in London where they have worked since 1989.

The FT originally spent 30 years at Bracken House, a Grade II listed building near St Paul’s Cathedral, from 1959.

Bracken House has undergone major refurbishment with a new roof terrace, internal courtyards and larger entrance halls among changes to the 200,000 square foot office.

The FT said in a statement that the refurbishment by John Robertson Architects which started in 2016 has seen Bracken House “transformed from a semi-industrial newspaper printing works into a bright office space fit for a thriving digital news organisation”.

FT chief executive John Ridding said: “When the FT left Bracken House more than 30 years ago we never imagined we would return and no one could have foreseen the disruption about to be unleashed by the digital disruption of news media.

“So, to return home having just burst through 1m paying readers, the highest level in our 130-year history, demonstrates the dynamism and success of our transformation.”

He added that the FT looked “forward to continued global growth from our new state of the art HQ”.

The building, named after the modern FT’s founder Brendan Bracken, was first designed by Sir Albert Richardson in 1959.

It was built halfway between the business centre of the City and the newspaper hub of Fleet Street to house the FT at a time of “rapid growth” and with pink sandstone to match the newspaper’s iconic coloured pages.

The FT’s move back to Bracken House follows the sale of its former headquarters at One Southwark Bridge late last year.

Former FT owner Pearson sold the building by the Thames for £115m to M&G Real Estate.

Japanese publisher Nikkei bought the FT from Pearson in late 2015 for £844m.

The newspaper announced last month that it had reached 1m paying readers a year ahead of schedule and 17 years after it first introduced a paywall.

Digital subscriptions account for three quarters of the title’s circulation, with 70 per cent of its readers based outside the UK.

Picture: FT

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