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Press Association leaves home of 24 years for 'dynamic' new HQ in Paddington

The Press Association has left its Westminster home after 24 years for a more modern newsroom in Paddington designed to suit its needs.

The news agency’s new London headquarters are based in North Wharf Road, with the last journalists leaving the old newsroom yesterday.

PA editor-in-chief Pete Clifton told Press Gazette his team now has a “better, more flexible, dynamic space with equipment to match”.

PA has been based at its former headquarters in Vauxhall Bridge Road, Victoria, since 1995 after moving from Fleet Street.

Said Clifton: “It was a great newsroom and lots of huge stories were quietly handled from there in the way we always do, but by the end it was getting pretty ratty and run down.

“Although I think people who had been there a while were sad and a bit reflective on the day we left, we knew we were going somewhere that’s much better-equipped for a modern newsroom.”

PA’s new third floor newsroom at The Point in Paddington. Picture: PA

He said the old newsroom was “very long and thin” so journalists felt too far away from each other, whereas the “empty shell” at Paddington meant they were “able to design something that’s much closer to our needs”.

This includes a central newsdesk where editors sit with staff most closely related to them behind them, and new screens which show headlines and data about how PA content is performing.

To coincide with the new move, Press Association will rebrand as PA Media in June, while parent company PA Group will become PA Media Group.

PA’s Victoria office was sold to a real estate investor last summer, and a planning application has since been submitted to Westminster City Council to demolish the building and build a hotel for boutique chain Citizen M.
Proceeds from the sale were set to help PA to address its pension fund deficit and “continue to invest in and diversify the business, as well as provide a return to our shareholders”, a spokesperson previously said.

The News Media Association, which shared a building with PA, also moved last week and now shares premises with the NLA (formerly the Newspaper Licensing Agency) in the City.

Ahead of the move to New Bridge Street near Blackfriars, NMA deputy chief executive Lynne Anderson wrote in a blog post it would “symbolise a coming together between two organisations who share very similar values”.

She added: “By collaborating and working more closely together, it will be the start of a new partnership which will benefit our two organisations and the industry we both serve.”

The NMA had been based at PA’s Victoria office since its creation in 2014 from the merger between the Newspaper Society and the Newspaper Publishers Association.

Pictures: PA

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