Major publishing group opens office in Manchester

Publishing business Hachette UK has revealed plans to open five new offices over the next 12 months, including a base in Manchester.

This follows a year-long consultation with staff who have volunteered to relocate.

The other offices will be in Sheffield, Newcastle, Bristol and Edinburgh.

The publisher boasts JK Rowling and Stephen King on its roster.

Manchester is already established after Emma Layfield, previously group picture book publisher at Hachette Children’s Group, moved to the city.

The publisher says it is actively looking for office space and expects up to 40 London-based staff from across the business to move over the next year, with at least 100 relocating by 2022.

David Shelley, CEO of Hachette UK, said: “Inclusion is at the heart of everything we do at Hachette and regional diversity is another way to bring fresh ideas into our business.

“We want to forge closer links to the brilliant pool of creative talent outside the ‘London bubble’ and connect more closely with readers, authors and booksellers around the UK to enrich our publishing.

“Our new offices are a great way for us to retain staff who no longer want, or can afford to, live in the capital.

“We also intend to recruit locally, rather than automatically creating or backfilling roles in London, and hope to offer traineeships once the offices are fully established.”

Hachette UK says it kicked off the consultation process in 2019 with a staff survey, in which 41% of respondents expressed interest in relocating outside London and specified a city.

Five cities were chosen and a working group visited each location to meet with independent publishers, booksellers, literary charities and representatives from other creative industries.

Staff were then asked to reconfirm their interest, before meetings were held with their respective MDs and department heads to agree whether it was viable to relocate their roles.

Hachette UK is made up of 10 autonomous publishing divisions.

It is owned by Hachette Livre, the world’s second largest trade and educational publisher, and also has subsidiaries in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and India as well as working with its sister company in the USA, Hachette Book Group.

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