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Express Newspapers to leave Blackfriars HQ

Express Newspapers is to leave its home in Blackfriars Road for a new HQ across the river in Lower Thames Street.

Richard Desmond's newspaper group has been looking for new premises for some time to allow it to leave the space it currently leases in Ludgate House at the southern end of Blackfriars Bridge.

Desmond leases two floors of Ludgate House from Lord Hollick's United Business Media, the previous owners of the Express and Star titles.

The newspapers, together with OK! and Now! magazines, will relocate to 10 Lower Thames Street in Autumn 2004, a building currently occupied by HSBC Bank.

According to Media Guardian, Mr Desmond announced he had signed the contract in an email to staff on Friday morning.

The Express's new home covers 190,000 square feet compared with only 60,000 square feet in Ludgate House, according to Mr Desmond.

Desmond's Northern and Shell empire, of which Express Newspapers is a part, is set to launch a new free evening newspaper in London this summer. The freesheet – to be edited by LBC 97.3 presenter Nick Ferrari – is a direct attack on the Evening Standard and Metro, both part of Lord Rothermere's Associated Newspapers.

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