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Weeklies stay in town with move to new offices

A group of weekly newspapers are to retain a town centre base while moving to new premises with a larger newsroom.

The West Sussex County Times and sister Johnston Press titles the West Sussex Gazette and Horsham Weekend Herald will move to new “state-of-the-art” offices in Horsham.

They will leave their historic base in Market Square, which is comprised of a network of small rooms, to move to offices at Springfield House at the end of this month.

Johnston Press chief executive Ashley Highfield said last year that all staff would be based in “fit for purpose” offices by the end of 2013 but the company has closed a number of offices to fund the improvements.

In an article, the County Times said the move would allow it “to create a pioneering print and digital environment for the next stage in its growth”.

Editor-in-chief Gary Shipton said: “The County Times continues to invest heavily in its news services and thanks to its superb website and robust print titles delivers a huge audience in the Horsham District.

“Earlier this year, we transformed the Horsham Advertiser into the Weekend Herald series offering advertisers an unprecedented 60,000 print copies per week into homes and businesses across the Horsham, Crawley and Mid Sussex areas.

“At the same time, the County Times newspaper gets even better. We have fine-tuned the design of the pages to make them even easier to read, and this year added a weekly pull-out leisure magazine WOW24/7 as well as a monthly business supplement.

“With the move will come more additions such as a weekly nostalgia pull-out as well. All this combined with our market-leading property guide makes the County Times exceptional value for money.

“But the real challenge, as our on-line audience grows extraordinarily quickly, is to ensure that we have a newsroom equipped to exceed their expectations too. That is why this move is so important.”

Springfield House is located at the junction of Albion Way with Springfield Road, adjacent to Horsham town centre, and has recently been refurbished.