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Demolition work to start on former newspaper office

Demolition work will start on a former weekly newspaper office this month as it begins its conversion into a centre for blind people.

As previously reported on HTFP, the Morecambe Visitor’s former office was bought by Galloway’s Society for the Blind, which revealed plans to turn it into a centre of excellence for the visually impaired.

The Visitor and its sister title the Lancaster Guardian moved into a new headquarters on an industrial estate in February 2014, having previously been based on Victoria Street for 135 years.

Work will begin at the building, pictured below, on Monday 19 October.

Morecambe 2

All of the back extensions will be knocked down, leaving just the front section formerly used as the reception and upstairs offices.

The refurbishment of the building by Galloway’s will cost £850,000 and the charity is fundraising towards this.

Following the revamp, the new premises for the charity are set to include facilities for blind people, along with a social enterprise cafe and meeting rooms which can be hired by the community.

The building was up for sale for a number of years by Johnston Press and had an asking price of £350,000, but the company has not revealed what it was sold for.


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  • October 13, 2015 at 8:44 am

    An apt metaphor for the state of the local press today, as I’m sure legions of posters will point out. Still, the building will soon have a worthwhile function at the heart of that town’s community, as it probably once did as a newspaper office. Ah, don’t you just love those welcoming “industrial estates” on the scruffy margins?

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  • October 13, 2015 at 9:24 am

    A former journalist enquired about starting a hyper local using. a small office in the town centre.
    Renting a suitable room would have cost £200 per week plus £10,000 to buy the lease. On top of that were business rates of £50 per week.
    Purchasing a similar building would cost £250,000-£300,000.
    Planning permission would have to have been obtained for change of use (cost £500). of premises.
    The whole thing was a non-starter anyway because the busy high street was deemed to be in holiday zone and councillors were only interested in things that would attract tourists.
    High streets are full of charity shops because they receive enormous rates discounts and many of their staff are volunteers working for nothing.
    That’s why new businesses end up on grotty industrial units.

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  • October 13, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    It’s sad, but newspaper companies are too skint now to afford town centre offices. Some are only still there because they cannot afford to get shot of a lease.
    Regionalisation of weeklies, with several produced from a so-called central hub by people who have no local knowledge, will become the norm within a few years. The final nail in the much-trumpeted (though now facile) notion that life is local.

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