Monday, 11 June 2012

Johnston Press deny rumours papers set to move base to Preston

The Morecambe Visitor and Lancaster Guardian offices on Victoria Street, Morecambe - up for sale.
Photo: John Freeman

Johnston Press, owners of the Lancaster Guardian and the Morecambe Visitor, have denied rumours they plan to move journalsts on both papers to Preston if their Morecambe offices are sold.

Speculation about such a move follows what seems to be a more prominent sales push for their offices in Victoria Street, Morecambe, on the books with local estate agents Robert Pinkus and Co for offers in the region of £350,000.

But although Johnston Press closed and sold its Lancaster offices last year - the building on Common Garden Street still unoccupied - the national company seems determined not to follow in the steps of rival Garnett, which owned several North West free 'Citizen' newspapers but closed its local offices and moved staff to Blackpool some years ago, and shut down several papers along the way, including the Lancaster Citizen.

In a statement reported by media site Hold the Front Page, Johnston Press denied suggestions that it plans to move the two titles to Preston, 20 miles away, saying that alternative local premises would be sought in the event of a sale.

“The Morecambe building has actually been up for sale for a number of years," the company states. “If the building were to sell, we would seek replacement local premises. There are no current plans to relocate staff to Preston.”

The Victoria Street office boasts a total 13,892 square footage spread across two floors. The ground floor is currently arranged as a shop front with offices at the rear with the first floor of the property used as ancillary offices. and Pinkus notes "the premises may suit a variety of different uses, subject to planning."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Got to wonder at how long the offices are safe though, when Johnson Press issue statements like this elsewhere in the country: http://www.holdthefrontpage.co.uk/2012/news/two-more-johnston-press-offices-set-to-close/. And where exactly will they move to if they do sell the building? Do they actually own any office space locally?