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”.
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.