The Press is returning to CBD
Public access opened to parts of Gloucester St
The Press staff will return to the central city next week after earthquake authorities reduced the red-zone cordon.
The Press building in Cathedral Square was demolished after suffering major damage in the February 2011 quake.
Staff have been working in temporary cabins at the newspaper's printing press site in Logistics Dr, off Johns Rd, in the west of the city for 15 months.
The Press has offices in a new building on Gloucester St but has been unable to move in while it remained within the city's red zone.
The cordon was lifted today.
Press general manager Andrew Boyle said the move was "a significant decision for The Press and one that we have been working carefully towards for some months in consultation with staff, engineers, our building owner Ganellen and Cera".
He said Ganellen had constructed an A-grade building "and we feel it is important that we operate from a central location".
He said a small number of Press staff had chosen to remain working from the Harewood printing press site.
"It has always been our very clear view that staff work where they feel most comfortable and can return to the CBD only when they feel ready," Boyle said.
"All our staff have done a tremendous job in temporary accommodation and many are greatly looking forward to the move."
The cordon has been moved west from Latimer Square, allowing access to parts of Gloucester St.
This will allow the public to see into New Regent St as it is repaired, although the street will remain cordoned.
Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) chief executive Roger Sutton said the reduction was great news for The Press.
"I appreciate it's been a difficult time for The Press staff with the experience they all went through in escaping the damaged building on February 22, losing a colleague, then having to carry on doing their work,'' he said.
"It will be good to have such an important part of the community back in the centre of the city.
"Press staff will have a bird's-eye view of the rebuild and that will no doubt be an advantage for readers."
The physical reduction of the cordon began at noon today.
A new map showing the reduction of the red zone cordon is available on the Cera website.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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