The Liverpool Echo has left its home of 45 years, three months after owner Trinity Mirror revealed plans to turn the newsroom building into a hotel.
The Echo Building in Old Hall Street, Liverpool, has been the newspaper’s home since it moved from its original base in Victoria Street in 1973.
On Friday, Echo staff left the newsroom for the final time before moving into a new development in St Paul’s Square, which faces the old building from across the road.
Echo editor Alistair Machray told Press Gazette several members of staff had been with the newspaper for its entire 45-year tenure at Old Hall Street.
He said: “It’s strange coming to a new home but at the same time it’s exciting. We are sad to go, but we are excited to arrive somewhere which is going to be very special for us.”
Owner Trinity Mirror submitted a planning application in January to turn the Echo Building into a 207-bedroom hotel complete with rooftop bar plus office and retail space.
Liverpool City Council approved the application last week.
Machray said the move came about because of the changing needs of the newspaper and the switch to a digital-first newsroom.
He said: “It was built for a very different type of organisation. It was built as a purpose-built print centre. Now obviously we are primarily focused on digital publication and we need a smaller space – technology has changed.”
He said the newsroom also needed a “brighter and lighter” space for its digital operation.
At the old office, editorial staff were far away from any windows. Machray compared them to pit ponies being released from the darkness.
He said the move will not have any impact on readers, but added: “All I would hope is that a bright, light modern workplace will make my journalists happier – and happy journalists are generally highly effective journalists.”
When the move was first announced in December, Carl Wood, regional managing director for Trinity Mirror North West and North Wales, said: “This is a very exciting move as our new offices will further enhance our digital capabilities and support our future growth ambitions.
“These ultra modern offices will also provide a light and bright working environment for all, reinforcing our position as the leading digital-first media business in the region and at the same time, highlighting our commitment to Liverpool and the wider city region.”
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