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Publisher wants to remain in historic home despite putting it up for lease

A regional publisher says it wants to remain in its historic headquarters despite putting the area it occupies up for lease.

Archant has stated its intention to stay at its home in Prospect House, Norwich, although it has instructed a property agent to market the floor where its offices are based.

The publishing group, which is itself currently up for sale, has been based in Prospect House since the late 1960s but agreed a deal to sell the building to its current owner, insurance firm the Alan Boswell Group, in 2019.

The publisher has been based on the first floor, pictured below, in recent years, but property agent Savills has now been instructed by Archant to list the floor as being up for long-term lease.

Archant inside

The floor is available “as a whole or in part”, with Archant saying it remains “committed” to having a base in Norwich whatever the outcome of negotiations over its future at Prospect House.

The Alan Boswell Group was not involved in putting the floor up for lease, with finance director Alastair Drew telling HTFP the company is being “as helpful as we can” over the issue.

A spokesman for Archant told HTFP: “We know from colleague feedback that home working is the preferred choice for the majority, hence our decision in December to reduce and resize a number of our offices.

“We’re committed to having office space in Norwich. Our intention remains to stay in Prospect House and we are working with our property agent to ensure a flexible approach as we move forwards.”

As well as many of Archant’s central staff, the site also contains the newsrooms of regional dailies the Eastern Daily Press and Norwich Evening News.

The publisher announced the closure of all but four of its 12 offices last year and the group itself has since been put up for sale.

Rival publisher Newsquest is understood to be the frontrunner to complete a deal after entering exclusive talks over a possible merger earlier this month.