Author Topic: The Adver is selling its Victoria Rd site  (Read 4232 times)

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Offline the gorgon

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The Adver is selling its Victoria Rd site
« on: July 14, 2014, 07:53:01 AM »
Adver is selling its Victoria Road site, guess it's getting a bit too expensive to maintain.

http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/11337678.Advertiser_is_set_to_find_a_new_home/

Here come more flats I suppose.  ::)



Offline I Could Do That

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Re: The Adver is selling its Victoria Rd site
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2014, 08:41:35 AM »
Adver is selling its Victoria Road site, guess it's getting a bit too expensive to maintain.

http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/11337678.Advertiser_is_set_to_find_a_new_home/

Here come more flats I suppose.  ::)


And more residents parking chaos.

It also signifies how The Adver is no longer a "local paper" with any real interest in Swindon, local heritage, or the community spirit of the town
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Offline Tobes

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Re: The Adver is selling its Victoria Rd site
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2014, 10:56:27 AM »
Yup.

Looks like Newsquest wants to milk off the value of the property whilst the market is rising. Must be a nice little earner for them.

However, if the joke justification proffered by the paper and the regional Newsquest wonk held water, that the space is too big and that converting the rest into retail space and flats was a good idea, why aren't they doing it for themselves?.

The Adver clings to local credibility and viability through combination of fingertips, underpaid reporters and a sense of nostalgia amongst many of its subscribers.

That such a decision is being taken at this time speaks volumes to me about their management's regard for the town, its culture and its community.

 :(
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Offline Spunkymonkey

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Re: The Adver is selling its Victoria Rd site
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2014, 11:32:36 AM »
And more residents parking chaos.

How so?

The Adver has a large car park at the rear and used to operate a fleet of about 40 delivery vans from the service yard. In its hey day they must have employed over 200 staff. Staff who used to arrive by car and park in residential streets (Avenue Road was a favourite with a lot of Adver staff).

Offline Spunkymonkey

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Re: The Adver is selling its Victoria Rd site
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2014, 11:43:38 AM »
However, if the joke justification proffered by the paper and the regional Newsquest wonk held water, that the space is too big and that converting the rest into retail space and flats was a good idea, why aren't they doing it for themselves?.

Presumably, because they are newspaper managers and not property developers or landlords.

I don't think this is joke justification. A space which used to accommodate journalists, manual type setters, archives, printing presses etc is clearly much bigger than is required to accommodate a few journalists with computers.

Offline Outoftowner

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Re: The Adver is selling its Victoria Rd site
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2014, 01:43:14 PM »
I wouldn't be surprised if the Newsquest Group didn't sell off all of it's old properties. They must be worth a tidy sum and are not really needed for the modern method of producing newsprint.
What's it all about?

Offline I Could Do That

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Re: The Adver is selling its Victoria Rd site
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2014, 04:38:27 PM »
Where is this large car park at the back of the adver office? (under ground?).
Is it still there? Or has it already been absorbed into "development"
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Offline Spunkymonkey

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Re: The Adver is selling its Victoria Rd site
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2014, 05:30:11 PM »
Where is this large car park at the back of the adver office? (under ground?).
Is it still there? Or has it already been absorbed into "development"

It is a while since I have driven down there, but the car park is still visible on Google maps and Street View (taken August 2012). It is opposite the Roaring Donkey on Albert Street unless it has been developed in the last 12 months. The frontage on Victoria Road is much smaller than the rear of the building which occupied most of Albert Street.

The Adver used to own the small triangular building between Albert Street and Little London. It used to house a generator for the print presses so this might be surplus to requirements.

They also used to own a large warehouse type building on the Albert Street/Church Lane junction, but this might have changed hands now. This building was also used as parking for delivery vans at one stage.

I'm not sure if all of these premises are still in the Adver's ownership, but either way I would have thought that a few flats will generate less traffic than the old factory, current offices or potential future mix of retail units and offices.

Offline the gorgon

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Re: The Adver is selling its Victoria Rd site
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2014, 07:25:33 PM »
From memory the buildings behind the Adver offices are pretty grim and to be honest very few would mourn their demise.

Looking at the streeview they look even grimmer than I remember them, in all honesty you'd have to try very hard to build something that looks worse.
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Offline Tobes

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Re: The Adver is selling its Victoria Rd site
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2014, 06:31:41 AM »
Yeah, there's definitely a whole bunch of stuff which can be done with the site - but contention that there will be 'plenty of parking' seems off track to me: plenty of other developments have offered the potential of 'plenty of parking' which simply hasn;t materialised: developers aren't obliged to provide it and know that there's more money to be made by using every available inch for flats whilst leaving the chaos of trying to park to the residents and the local community.

I guess I'm just glum about it being yet another nail in the coffin of a mixed and diverse local community.

All anyone can think to offer for Swindon is flats, and chain restaurants (with maybe the off hotel thrown in for the salesman).

The town simply becomes an even less interesting place to live as, conversely, ever more flats and apartments are shoe-horned into it.

Losing a paper in the heart of the community - especially one with roots on site going back 150 years in a specific building (with all the attendant history), is not something I can be glib about. Its yet another bell-weather as to whats happening in and to the town and the values and purposes which people perceive as priorities.

Change happens of course - but once key decision are taken, they can rarely be undone. Moving the Adver to some cheap pokey office on an industrial site somewhere really will sign its death knell, in my view. And one thing this sorry second-best town deserves is a media to at least hold people to account. Sadly, I see Swindon fast becoming a place devoid of any values, save those of turning a quick profit. As a place which is a joy and choice to live, its fast becoming a place dominated by cheap expediency - the Aldi of towns.

Put it this way, the person making this decision is not some one who works at the Adver, lives in Swindon or has any sense of the impact of their choice. To the Newsquest guy, its just a question of £££s. But whether the £££s are about ensuring the long-term success of a local institution, or whether they're for the board of Newsquest or their shareholders and their 2014 bottom line, is a delineation from a decision taken for local practical reasons.

I know that all might sound a bit contrived - but the Adver move just comes in a long process of seeing things inexorably chipped  away.

I hope I'm wrong.
I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it - [attributed to] Voltaire... 'Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessita' - William of Occam.... 'You have a right to feel offended, but just cos you are offended doesn't mean you are right'

Offline the gorgon

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Re: The Adver is selling its Victoria Rd site
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2014, 08:35:59 AM »
Tobes, none of us actually knows where they are moving to, it could be little london court round the back from them or one of the many empty offices in the town centre for all we know.

Offline Spunkymonkey

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Re: The Adver is selling its Victoria Rd site
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2014, 10:09:17 AM »
I am trying to keep an open mind about this potential development as it all depends what happens to the ground floor. A major part of the newspaper died when production moved to Oxford 20 years ago.

Once the printing presses moved out the building became little more than offices. It hasn't really been home to a newspaper since the heart was ripped out in the 90's. The current building is just a façade for an Oxford based company.

This latest decision is merely closing the stable door 20 years after the horses bolted and is minor in comparison.

If the ground floor is occupied by some quality retail units or a decent independent restaurant, it might provide a boost to Old Town.

Whether the first and second floors are used for flats, offices or storage for the retail units below is of less interest.

Offline Tobes

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Re: The Adver is selling its Victoria Rd site
« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2014, 08:35:42 AM »
Quote
If the ground floor is occupied by some quality retail units or a decent independent restaurant, it might provide a boost to Old Town.

If... Might....

Well, lets hope so I guess...

 :(

Quote
Tobes, none of us actually knows where they are moving to, it could be little london court round the back from them or one of the many empty offices in the town centre for all we know.

If... Might....

Well, lets hope so I guess - though I can just imagine some 'progressive' Newsquest manager suggesting that they all work from home from now on.

IF they have some kind of 'official' presence somewhere, personally I reckon they'll go for the absolute cheapest option, as befitting  the general Newsquest ethos - some unit somewhere for the advertising and layout dept to base a few PCs and for the reporters to wire their stories. My money is on a place in one of the empty light industrial units around the outskirts of town. I'll be extremely happy to be proven wrong, but lets see.
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Offline Spunkymonkey

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Re: The Adver is selling its Victoria Rd site
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2014, 11:22:20 AM »
Well, lets hope so I guess - though I can just imagine some 'progressive' Newsquest manager suggesting that they all work from home from now on.

I'm sure a lot of that already happens. Journalists go out to interview a member of the public, take a photo of them posing with their best grumpy face and arms folded and then write the story in the car and email it in.

Quote
IF they have some kind of 'official' presence somewhere, personally I reckon they'll go for the absolute cheapest option, as befitting  the general Newsquest ethos - some unit somewhere for the advertising and layout dept to base a few PCs and for the reporters to wire their stories. My money is on a place in one of the empty light industrial units around the outskirts of town. I'll be extremely happy to be proven wrong, but lets see.

I think you are probably right, unless they need a more accessible front desk to deal with the public. My Mum used to work on reception and would take adverts and sell photos etc. Not sure if they still do this in person or on line.

On the other hand, they don't currently have any customer parking spaces, so some people might prefer to visit an out of town industrial estate with free parking rather than pay for parking in Old Town. My girlfriend and I often enjoy a full English breakfast in The Café and would probably use it more regularly if we didn't have to add on £2 for parking.

On the plus side, Old Town does seem to be bucking the trend and has more independent businesses and less empty units than the town centre. Hopefully, the site will attract a decent independent retailer rather than a McDonalds or Wetherspoons.

Offline Tobes

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Re: The Adver is selling its Victoria Rd site
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2014, 03:32:35 PM »
 ;D

Quote
On the plus side, Old Town does seem to be bucking the trend and has more independent businesses and less empty units than the town centre. Hopefully, the site will attract a decent independent retailer rather than a McDonalds or Wetherspoons.

Yeah, always better something rather than an empty shop - though latterly it seems that the ONLY things opening are restaraunts (be they chains or otherwise). Though it will obviously be good to maintain our town's deserved reputation as the obesity capital of the West, maybe it would be a shame if we lost out on that 'villagey' feeling that Old Town at least has for the time being. A few more options rather than eateries or flats would be welcome - but the trouble is that they seem to get squeezed out at the moment by people looking for a faster buck.

I wonder (without squinting or having to tax my imagination too hard) what the high street will look and feel like in ten years time...?
I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it - [attributed to] Voltaire... 'Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessita' - William of Occam.... 'You have a right to feel offended, but just cos you are offended doesn't mean you are right'

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: The Adver is selling its Victoria Rd site
« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2014, 03:45:19 PM »

I wonder (without squinting or having to tax my imagination too hard) what the high street will look and feel like in ten years time...?

Like 1980‘s Doncaster.

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Offline Montymole

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Re: The Adver is selling its Victoria Rd site
« Reply #16 on: August 26, 2014, 01:44:50 PM »

I wonder (without squinting or having to tax my imagination too hard) what the high street will look and feel like in ten years time...?

Like 1980‘s Doncaster.

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