A regional publisher is to close eight newspaper offices across the country with 34 members of staff set to work from home or from other offices nearby.
JPIMedia chief executive David King announced the closures to staff this afternoon in a move which could also see journalists in 20 other locations move to new headquarters.
The offices set to close are Aylesbury, Banbury, Brighton, Cumbernauld, Horncastle, Kenilworth, Kettering and Luton.
JPIMedia staff currently working in those locations will either move to other premises owned by the company nearby, or switch to “flexible working” from home or other remote locations.
Following a review by the company’s property team and senior managers, JPI is also seeking to relocate staff to new premises in 20 other offices.
These are Alnwick, Berwick, Blackpool, Burnley, Chesterfield, Chichester, Eastbourne, Grangemouth, Halifax, Horsham, Mansfield, Milton Keynes, Portsmouth, Scarborough, Selkirk, South Shields, Wakefield, Wigan and Worthing.
HTFP understands sites in Havant and Port Solent are being considered as potential new homes for Portsmouth daily The News.
New headquarters for staff working in Sunderland, Belfast and Peterborough have already been found according to Dave’s announcement, which has been seen by HTFP.
Harrogate Advertiser journalists also moved into a new home in the Yorkshire town on 1 March, after briefly relocating to Leeds following the paper’s departure from its previous office.
Nineteen other offices in the company’s portfolio are unaffected by the changes.
In his message to staff, Dave wrote: “Following my message on the review of JPIMedia’s estate strategy earlier this year, I wanted to take the opportunity to update you on our progress to date.
“Our property team in conjunction with senior managers have now completed the review of our property requirements to ensure we have the right office spaces and the ability to develop agile working across the business.
“In my previous message, I outlined a number of sites where we will remain and those that we had already commenced looking at space requirements.
“We have sourced alternative sites for those previously mentioned namely Sunderland, Belfast, Peterborough. We are consolidating our space in Leeds.”
He added: “With growing numbers of people already working from home we recognise the many benefits of agile working practices to both the business and our employees.
“By aligning agile working with the review of our property portfolio, it will help us to retain jobs and sustain titles for the future.”