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The Gloucestershire Echo is moving from Clarence Parade to a new HQ

By This is Gloucestershire  |  Posted: August 31, 2010

echostaff

On the move: Gloucestershire Media staff outside St James' House

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THE Gloucestershire Echo is leaving its Cheltenham headquarters and relocating to another part of the town centre.

After the best part of a century in Clarence Parade, we are to move to offices at St James' House, in St James' Square, where staff from all departments will work together in purpose-designed offices.

Our new home will be the new headquarters of Gloucestershire Media, publisher of the Echo and our sister papers, The Citizen, The Forester and Stroud Life.

Echo editor Kevan Blackadder said: "Our Clarence Parade offices have played an enormous role in the life of the Gloucestershire Echo and will always be a special part of our history.

"But I'm really looking forward to running the newspaper from offices where staff from all our departments will be able to work more efficiently together.

"It was important to us we stayed in central Cheltenham and St James' House has given us the perfect new home."

The move is due to take place later this month and means the Clarence Parade site is up for sale. Offers are sought in excess of £2 million.

Sarah Irvine, managing director of Gloucestershire Media, said: "We are delighted to be moving to a purpose-designed office in the centre of Cheltenham, where Gloucestershire Media is creating a multi-media environment fit for the 21st century.

"Our message to our community is we are 'at the heart of all things local' and this will be even more the case at St James' House. All our Cheltenham-based staff will work more closely together than ever before on one large floor.

"It will be a different environment with a modern open-plan approach and glass-fronted offices. Our new home will be better equipped for staff and visitors to our newspapers."

The Echo's move marks the end of an era of newspaper publishing in Clarence Parade.

The building was originally six town houses dating back to 1833. The Echo has been linked with Clarence Parade for almost 90 years.

Cheltenham Newspaper Company acquired the "cottages" one by one with the last, number 6, bought in 1965.

Then in 1996 the back of the old cottages was demolished and replaced with modern offices while the front of the Regency buildings was restoring to the original style.

Mr Blackadder said: "Clarence Parade will make a fantastic new home for the right business."

■ See BusinessWeek for more details

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    Penny Watts, Swaziland Southern Africa  |  December 16 2010, 10:25PM

    With your move to St James House,it's the end of an era and for me your present premises hold a particular affection. Just before the 2nd world war, my grandfather Charles Watts senior moved his Gentlemens Outfitting business from the High St opposite The Famous to 9 Clarence Parade (at the other end of the Street). He retired when the war ended in 1945 and his eldest son Charles Watts junior took over. My father Sydney Watts also ran his Radio,TV and electrical repair shop from no.9 and in those days, people tended to live over their businesses so in 1951 my parents and I moved into the flat above. I was 4. With no garden to play in I would wander down the road to play in what was then the garden in front of Royal Crescent later to become the Royal Well Bus Station and to my absolute delight I would often find the windows to the basement at the Echo Office open and i could stand and watch the men working and the printing presses running. I can still remember the smell of the print as the heat from the presses wafted up through the windows. The house in between that are now part of the Echo offices were at that time and through the 50's mostly private houses so when the shops shut at 5.30, we became a local community where the families knew one another and visited each other. Gilbert and Joyce Savoury, Elenor Voux (from Voux's Confectioners and Tobaconists our next door neighbours) on the Clarence St corner, The Bradshaws and Mrs Reed all good neighbours. I lived there till I was16 in 1963 and witnessed many changes in the town centre. The family sold number 9 in 1977 when my grandfather died but even now I still think of 9 Clarence Parade as home.

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