Leading UK publishing company Hachette UK has confirmed that it will open its five new national offices over the next three months, with Manchester and Bristol in July, followed by Newcastle in August, then Edinburgh and Sheffield in September.
The office openings will see nearly 60 London-based staff relocate across the UK, after earlier plans were put on hold as a result of the pandemic. Those relocating will be from a variety of roles and divisions across the publishing group, with the aim of having at least a hundred staff relocating by 2022. Hachette UK has also started recruiting locally.
The Bristol office will be headed by Nick Davies, Managing Director at John Murray Press and the first member of the Hachette UK Board to be based at a national office. 13 members of staff are moving into a co-share with the holiday company and travel publisher, Sawdays, on Bristol harbour. The team will be joined by recent hire Jade Chandler, Publishing Director at Baskerville, a new crime and thriller imprint at John Murray Press.
David Shelley, CEO of Hachette UK, said: “I am really excited about our national offices, which I hope will provide a gateway into creative talent – authors, illustrators, translators, publishing professionals – around the UK. We are ambitious for these offices’ growth and development over the coming years, and we really look forward to working closely with bookshops, libraries, arts organisations and charities in all the cities in which we will be based. I hope it will be a transformative venture for our publishing and widen our horizons in all sorts of exciting new ways.”
Nick Davies, Managing Director at John Murray Press, added: “We’re very excited to be opening our five new offices finally, after the various delays of the last 18 months. This first phase is about staff relocating, embedding the offices in their new communities and getting closer to local readers, writers and booksellers. But it’s the second phase, where we look to grow these offices by hiring from more diverse talent pools across the country, that’s the really exciting, game-changing moment. We are already advertising on a national level. Following one recent job ad, 60 per cent of the longlist applied to work from one of our five national offices, so the appetite is clearly there.
“I’d like to say a big thank you for the support that we’ve already received from businesses and organisations across the country, including Arts Council England, Creative Industries Federation, Publishing Scotland, New Writing North, Manchester City of Literature, University of Sheffield and many, many more. This project would’ve been impossible without your enthusiasm and advice, and we look forward to collaborating with you from these new bases in the near future.”
Later this year, Hachette UK will be teaming up with partners in the cities where it has new national offices to host a range of myth-busting sessions for aspiring authors on creative writing, editing and pitching, and the publishing industry in general, as well as offering some exciting career retrospectives with Hachette UK’s biggest authors in those regions. These events form part of the Opening the Book series Hachette UK launched in June to mark the fifth anniversary of its ‘Changing the Story’ diversity and inclusion programme, and are being led by Nick Davies, who is also a Patron of ‘Changing the Story’.
Hachette UK Distribution, part of the Hachette UK publishing group, opened one of the most advanced distribution centres in Europe, in August 2018. Based near Milton Park in Oxfordshire, the Hely Hutchinson Centre is almost completely automated. Hachette provides comprehensive distribution services to more than 45 publishers, many of which are third party clients from outside the Hachette UK group. It ships in excess of 60 million books globally each year and supply one out of every four books to the UK trade.