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Osborne rates move ‘will bring newspapers back to town centres’

Sajid_JavidCulture Secretary Sajid Javid says the government’s planned business rates relief for regional newspapers will help encourage more newspapers to return to town and city centres.

As reported by HTFP yesterday, the Exeter Express & Echo moved into new city centre offices at the weekend, following a similar move by fellow Local World title the Derby Telegraph in November.

Mr Javid believes more could follow in the wake of Chancellor George Osborne’s Budget announcement of a consultation on business rates relief for local newspapers in England

Mr Javid made the claim in a letter to Parliament’s Culture, Media and Sport Committee chairman John Whittingdale following a meeting with he News Media Association last month.

In his letter Mr Javid, pictured above left, wrote: “There is an obvious public interest in having journalists situated at the heart of the communities they serve.

“There is no doubt that if funding was not an issue, the choice location for local newspaper offices – for residents and journalists – alike – would be in town centres, in a building that comfortably meets their resourcing needs.

“We recognise that business rates can be a burden on businesses and can add to their fixed costs.

“Looking at implementing a relief on business rates for local newspapers should provide us with options for targeting these organisations so as to reduce their costs and support them to provide their vital function in our democracy.”

The consultation on business rate relief for local papers is set to begin after the general election.


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  • April 1, 2015 at 9:09 am

    I have to admit I fell for this one, and then checked the date.

    Was it a toss up between this and ‘Quality journalism delivered by experienced professionals is the key to local newspaper success, says media boss’?

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  • April 1, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    “A building that comfortably meets their resources needs.”
    Would that be a phone box?

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  • April 1, 2015 at 7:10 pm

    Of course, with JP’s Newsroom of the Future it wouldn’t necessarily be in the town centre the newspaper covered.

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