Five journalists will be made redundant after Johnston Press confirmed plans to dismantle a subbing hub serving the South Coast.
HTFP reported last month that the regional publisher was proposing to transfer the work of its hub in Horsham, Sussex, to another production base in Peterborough, more than 130-miles away.
Staff were told they could relocate to the Peterborough hub but it is understood none have chosen to do so and six sub-editor roles and a design editor position will be axed by the end of this month.
However, Johnston Press says two of the affected staff have been given alternative content gathering roles in the company.
The Horsham production unit was only set up in January last year to serve the company’s titles in Sussex and Hampshire.
A company insider said many of the affected staff were already travelling long distances to work in Horsham and said the publisher had not realistically expected them to take up the offer of a transfer to Peterborough.
The closure comes just weeks before the next phase of the relaunch and redesign of all JP’s paid-for titles, which is due to take place in early September.
Karl Dimmock, managing director of JP’s South publishing unit, said: “This transfer of work has been motivated by the desire to maintain the newspaper designs developed with Cases, and to ensure that we produce titles consistently to the highest possible standards.
“Regrettably despite consultation with the team in the south, none of them have elected to transfer to Peterborough. However two members of staff said their first preference was to be considered for alternative content gathering roles and we have been delighted to accommodate them.
“Five others said that they did not wish to be considered for these jobs and very regretfully they will leave us once the design work has transferred.
“We thank them for the tremendous job they have done over many years and the very professional way in which they have participated in this consultation.”
Titles affected by the move include Portsmouth daily The News and weekly titles the Chichester Observer, Hastings Observer, Worthing Herald, Eastbourne Herald and Crawley Observer.