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Daily editor in vow to readers as staff make out-of-town move

An editor has vowed her daily newspaper will remain “part of the fabric” of its community after a move to a new “21st century” out-of-town base.

Staff at the Sunderland Echo have completed the switch to their new offices at Rainton Bridge, approximately eight-and-a-half miles from the city centre, after a 15-month long search.

The new headquarters, pictured below, lie just over six miles from the Echo’s Pennywell home of 40 years, close to the town of Houghton-le-Spring.

While still on patch, the move out of Sunderland has attracted criticism from Echo readers on its website, with commenters claiming the paper should be “supporting the city economy”.

Rainton Bridge

One commenter on the site, under the pseudonym ‘doxford engines’, wrote: “Why not the town centre? Could the council not encourage them to locate in the centre?”

However another, ‘CaptainCharisma’, responded: “In the defence of the Sunderland Echo, the council offers absolutely zero incentive to non-retail business in the city centre, there isn’t ample parking for any medium to large business or any business with staffing numbers over four.”

Editorial director Joy Yates said: “The paper has a long and proud tradition of bringing readers news and views from across Wearside, as well as being a voice for the community.

“It has always played a special part in people’s lives and, as we adapt to the changing times, it will remain what it has always been; part of the fabric of Wearside life.”

“We may be moving home, but the Echo’s commitment to serve, inform, entertain and fight for the justice of people across Wearside remains just as strong as it was in 1873.”

As part of the move the Echo’s historic clock, which hung outside the newspaper’s Bridge Street and Pennywell offices for more than eighty years, has been donated to Beamish Museum.

The Sunderland Antiquarian Society has now also taken over guardianship of the Echo’s archives.


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  • April 20, 2015 at 8:39 am

    My “commitment” would be to that magnificent heron contemplating its fish supper. At least it can keep a close eye on what’s going on – unlike the exiled newspaper staff in their chilly out-of-town “new home”. Good luck one and all.

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  • April 20, 2015 at 9:50 am

    The old office wasn’t exactly city centre, being on a far-flung industrial/retail park at the far end of the suburbs. Not exactly the kind of place readers or advertisers could just call in to. It was a lot closer to the residential areas of Sunderland than Rainton Bridge, though. Maybe they’ll improve coverage of the districts outside the city itself now?

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  • April 20, 2015 at 10:25 am

    Nothing like having grass roots reporters pounding the beats on their own patches – ha!

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  • April 20, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    Not even a shopfront presence in the centre of town for advertisements and a reporters desk and computer ??

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  • April 20, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    A vow that’s not worth the cheap newsprint it is printed on.

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