News International reveals plans to reinforce Fortress Wapping’
MAJOR plans have been announced this week for a massive revamp and expansion at News International’s headquarters and printworks in Wapping. The global media group founded by tycoon Rupert Murdoch is creating a campus for UK businesses.’ It has now abandoned plans to move out and sell the lucrative site 10 minutes from the Tower of London that it moved into in 1986
MAJOR plans have been announced this week for a massive revamp and expansion at News International’s headquarters and printworks in Wapping.
The global media group, founded by tycoon Rupert Murdoch, will be creating what it calls a campus for UK businesses.’
It has now abandoned plans to pack up and move out of London’s East End altogether and sell the lucrative site 10 minutes from the Tower of London that it moved into in 1986.
The move into the area was controversial at the time, over Murdoch’s clashes with the print unions which led to massive demonstrations in Wapping when he shifted his publishing empire out of Fleet Street.
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Staff at what became known at the time as Fortress Wapping’ will now be joined by staff from other companies in the News Corporation group such as Dow Jones, Harper Collins, MySpace and 20th Century Fox. They hope to complete the expansion by 2012.
The 20-acre site where newspapers such as The Sun and The Times are produced is to become home to some of the group’s other major media activities including television, film, book publishing and internet.
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News Corporation’s boss James Murdoch, Rupert Murdoch’s son, said in a statement: “Wapping is not only important as a physical site, but as a symbol of how bold individuals working together can advance the world of media and contribute to life in Britain.”
Tower Hamlets council, which will have to approve any planning application for the expansion, welcomed the announcement which it hoped would boost job opportunities in the East End.
The authority would be “working closely with News Corporation to develop the site to provide benefits to the wider community,” it said.
News Corporation has assets of £35 billion, including the complex at Wapping, with total yearly revenues of almost £19 billion.