Belfast Telegraph to leave its Royal Avenue building

The Belfast Telegraph
The Belfast Telegraph

The Belfast Telegraph’s landmark city centre building is to close, after the company which owns the newspaper announced that it is to close the printing works based at the site.

The move will cost 89 jobs and will see the daily paper re-locate its offices to elsewhere in the capital.

Dublin-based Independent News and Media Limited has blamed the closure of the Royal Avenue premises on continuing decline in print volumes and the end of a key print contract.

As well as its own titles, INM prints several national newspapers in the architecturally-acclaimed building.

INM publishes the Belfast Telegraph, Sunday Life and Sunday World in Northern Ireland.

The company said that business at those titles would not be impacted, but journalism staff would be moved to new offices in the city.

Meanwhile, the printing aspect of the business is set to move to Newry.

The company, whose majority shareholder is the Irish tycoon Denis O’Brien, said that discussions would be held with other publishers that use the printers to find alternative arrangements before the Belfast operation closes – which will happen in the next ten months.

The spokesman added: “The closure of the print operation reflects the wider global trend in declining newspaper circulations, and the rise of news consumption via digital channels.

“INM remains committed to its long term strategy of multi-platform news delivery in Northern Ireland.”

North Belfast DUP MLA Nelson McCausland expressed “deep disappointment” at the decision.

He said: “ The Belfast Telegraph dates back to 1870 and their printing business has provided employment in Belfast for more than 140 years.”

Invest NI subsidised INM’s Newry printing plant with taxpayers’ money.

Three years ago the Assembly was told that from 2005-2009 the firm received £3.66million in grants.