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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 September, 2003, 15:55 GMT 16:55 UK
Reuters says goodbye to Fleet St
Financial information
Reuters is among the last news firms to quit Fleet Street
Global news giant Reuters is severing ties with its historic home in Fleet Street in an attempt to cut costs.

Reuters plans to shift 3,000 London staff to a new base at Canary Wharf.

The firm will sell its headquarters at 85 Fleet Street and a neighbouring building for 32.3m.

Canary Wharf is offering cheaper deals to new tenants after layoffs in the financial services industry left many of its properties vacant.

Reuters said the sale of its Fleet Street offices would cut property costs by about 5m a year.

End of an era

Reuters is one of the very last news groups to move out of the former home of British journalism - now known as a bastion for bankers and lawyers.

The proposed site at Canary Wharf represents an exciting move for Reuters
Tom Glocer, chief executive
Fleet Street once bustled with newspapers and journalists who were notorious for propping up the bars of the street's numerous watering holes.

The exodus from Fleet Street began in the 1980s when The Times and Daily Telegraph moved out, mainly to Docklands, leaving the floodgates open for law firms and accountants to take their place.

Under one roof

"The proposed site at Canary Wharf represents an exciting move for Reuters, with our London staff under one roof for the first time," said Tom Glocer, chief executive of Reuters.

He said a similar office move in New York had "a tremendously positive impact on both staff and clients that we want to replicate in London".

Its staff in London are currently scattered around 10 locations, with 85 Fleet St - designed in the 1930s by Edwin Lutyens - as its head office.

The company has laid off thousands of staff worldwide due to the slump in global financial markets over the past three years.

It is currently in the middle of its cost-cutting programme dubbed 'Fast Forward', outlined in July.

Major coup for Canary

The move is good news for Canary Wharf, currently at the centre of a bid battle, as it struggles with debts of 3.4bn and feels the effects of oversupply of office space in the capital.

Canary Wharf is buying the Fleet Street property from Reuters and will take over three of Reuters' existing leasehold London properties. Reuters is being offered two-and-a-half years rent free at the docklands site.

Property analyst Alan Patterson, of banking group HSBC, said it was Canary Wharf's first major letting for "the better part of a year".

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