Regional publisher Johnston Press is planning to sell one of its local newspaper offices and rent it back from the new owner.
Bosses at the Bury Free Press say they want to explore more “cost effective ways” of using their existing office space.
The company wants to put the newspaper’s current office in Kings Road, Bury St Edmunds on the market with one insider claiming it could fetch up to £1.5m.
The move comes as around 15 staff from the Haverhill Echo and Newmarket Journal, whose own offices are closing, prepare to move into the Free Press HQ at the beginning of next month.
Johnston Press chief executive Ashley Highfield has made clear its determination to dispose of surplus office space in order to raise cash to help improve remaining offices and pay down the company’s £350m debt.
If the leaseback scheme succeeds it could provide a model for other JP centres across the UK.
Richard Parkinson, managing director of JP’s Anglia Newspapers division, told HTFP: “I can confirm that we are exploring the possibility of selling the building and leasing the space back.
“It’s not clear whether that will happen or not but there are no plans to vacate the building either way. It’s just about finding out whether there’s a more cost effective way of using the space.”
Richard added that the company was still looking at options for maintaining a presence in Haverhill and Newmarket, which are 18 and 15 miles away from Bury respectively.
“It may be continuing to have a base in Haverhill and Newmarket combined with some operational base in Bury,” he said.
Staff were called to a meeting to be told about the proposed leaseback move.
According to one of those present, the company believe the Kings Road building could fetch up to £1.5m.