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Weekly to lose permanent base in town after 164 years

A weekly newspaper’s office has closed meaning it no longer has a permanent base in the town it serves.

The Whitby Gazette has had at least one staffer based in the town since it as originally founded in 1854 – most recently at its office at St Hilda’s Business Centre, on The Ropery.

However publisher Johnston Press has now confirmed the closure of the office, five years after the paper moved there from the Grade II-listed offices which had been its home since its foundation.

The historic offices, situated next to the historic town centre’s swing bridge, were later sold by JP for £395,000 and converted into a cocktail bar.

The closure of the St Hilda’s office was announced in a nib in this week’s edition of the Gazette.

The sole Gazette staff member who used the office will now work from home full-time.

St Hilda's Business Centre, Whitby

St Hilda’s Business Centre, Whitby

A JP spokesman told HTFP: “We can confirm that the Whitby Gazette office has closed. This affects one staff member in terms of office location, who will now work from home full-time, and has no effect on staffing numbers.”

Readers are now urged to contact the office of the Scarborough News, 19 miles away.

The office closure follows a restructure in June which saw Ed Asquith, who edited the Gazette along with a number of other titles in North and East Yorkshire, take early retirement.

All of the company’s weeklies in Yorkshire are now overseen by Jean MacQuarrie.

The old Whitby Gazette offices which have since been converted into a cocktail bar

The old Whitby Gazette offices which have since been converted into a cocktail bar


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  • August 7, 2018 at 9:15 am

    Some contradiction here. First we read that the sole remaining reporter will now work from home. Later, we read that readers are told to contact the Scarborough News newsroom 19 miles away. Yet another incidence of a newspaper – and an award winning one at that – losing contact with its grassroots. Sad.

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  • August 7, 2018 at 10:02 am

    @Wordsmith: In the last couple of weeks there has been a job advert on HTFP for a reporter for the Whitby Gazette so that may be why the contradiction, they may not have a Whitby reporter right now.

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  • August 7, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    Converted into a cocktail bar? Hmmmm – I wish it had. It’s just a shop selling women’s hats and accessories with flats above. And as for being at St Hilda’s Business Centre, not sure if they have been there for a while as I work in a neighbouring business centre and folk are often wandering around trying to find them.. Last time I tried to contact the Gazette myself, I ended up phoning a Sheffield number and the person who answered the phone was neither use nor ornament. What a sad end to what used to be a fine newspaper before Johnston Press took it over …..

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  • August 7, 2018 at 4:20 pm

    This may explain why, at the time of commenting, the Gazette’s homepage has no news at the top. Seriously – unless my browser is playing up or I’ve been briefly struck down by a case of acute stupidity, it’s a news website with no news. Just a weather forecast below the masthead then sport below that.

    If you do click on the news tab to navigate through to that section, all the stories are generic content about “Businesses across Yorkshire are X”, “Yorkshire schools are Y” etc. apart from “Deadline approaching to enter your maritime photos”. (Pleeeeease send us your user-generated content – we’re desperate!)

    A pretty sad sight, all told…

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