Journalists at a weekly newspaper have returned to a town centre office after a 35-year absence.
The Rotherham Advertiser has moved into a new headquarters in Upper Millgate, having moved away from Rotherham town centre in the 1980s.
Reporters, photographers and production staff moved from the advertiser’s old Effingham Street home to a base in Eastwood in 1984 and then to Manvers – seven miles away from the town – around 13 years ago.
Editor Andrew Mosley announced the move on the front page of the Advertiser’s free sister title The Recorder on Wednesday.
He wrote: “There’s a sense of history in our move back into town, as the Advertiser was first produced in Rotherham on the first day of 1858 and we believe our presence will help and we hope that the people of Rotherham and from across the borough will call in to visit us with information and stories.
“Only that way can we truly represent the community and report on the issues that matter to people.”
“Over the past couple of years Regional Media Ltd has searched for an alternative base back in Rotherham but been hit by a number of stumbling blocks around issues such as the size, condition and location of available buildings, the type that were on the market, and the lack of wi-fi.
“The usual suspects will comment that Rotherham does not have a town centre anymore, there is nothing there etc. However, the aim is to contribute to helping make sure that there is something there.”
The move to Manvers, just north of Wath-on-Dearne and around seven miles away from Rotherham, meant reporters and photographers having to make a journey into the town each time a story broke.
Said Andrew: “It was not conducive to trotting out the old ‘our reporter was at the scene of the incident’ line.”
The paper will retain, for now, its office in Howard Street, where people can go to place announcements, though this function will move to Upper Millgate in December.
Andrew said other development plans set for the town centre were “an opportunity to get Rotherham up and running again”.
He added: “It has become clear over the years that building Parkgate, with many of the major stores relocating there, was a costly move that has, along with other factors, damaged Rotherham.
“However, the more businesses who choose to move into the town centre, the better it will become and only then will the possibility emerge that Rotherham can thrive again.”