Staff at the Manchester Evening News are preparing to move to a new purpose-built building.
Later this month 500 staff will begin moving desks from the paper’s current headquarters at Deansgate, across the road to Hardman Street and a state-of-the-art office complex in the heart of the city’s expanding Spinningfields business district.
The new multi-million pound offices will be home to all MEN and Manchester Metro News editorial staff, as well as those working for ManchesterOnline, The Guardian’s northern operation, and Guardian Media Group advertising, sales and finance staff currently based at Deansgate.
Much of the move will be done at weekends, with editorial staff the first to go, and it is hoped everyone will be settled in the new premises by the end of October.
To ensure a smooth transition, computer systems at the two buildings will run in parallel for a time, and the company will be working to ensure that newspaper production is not affected.
Mark Dodson, chief executive officer of GMG’s Regional Division, said: “The new building provides a much improved, air-conditioned, modern working environment.
“The layout of the building will make communication easier and we hope that interaction between departments will be far simpler.
“Our IT infrastructure will be completely overhauled, meaning that our continued push towards a range of fully converged media products becomes a step closer.”
The new offices will be the fourth in the MEN’s history, and is only a short distance from its original offices in Brown Street.
The paper then moved to the city’s Cross Street, and has been at Deansgate since the late 1970s.
The new office is part of an Allied London development, and GMG will be next to the Royal Bank of Scotland’s UK headquarters.
It is mainly open plan, with few offices, in contrast to the Deansgate premises which is in two sections that are connected underground.
Every room has state-of-the-art presentation facilities and is kitted out with new equipment, including PCs.
GMG has signed a 22-year lease on the 148,000sq ft building, which was designed specifically for the company.