Chambers Harrap Edinburgh base to close

<p>One of the oldest names in British publishing Chambers Harrap is to close its Edinburgh office with the loss of up to 27 positions after parent Hachette failed to find a buyer for the Chambers business. The imprints will be merged into parent Hachette&#39;s operations in Paris and London.</p><p>Staff were told this morning (15th September) of the proposed closure and consultations with them and the National Union of Journalists have begun. All 27 members of staff are expected to be affected.<br /><br />Hachette said the businesses had been &quot;affected by the steep decline in the sales of dictionaries and reference books as people move away from print to go online where they can get their information, for the most part, free of charge&quot;. Chambers had been &quot;particularly hit by the fall in sales of English dictionaries&quot;.<br /><br />Under the plans, responsibility for 191-year-old Chambers, which publishes a range of dictionaries and thesauruses, as well as the Brewer&#39;s reference list, will be moved to London-based Hodder Education. Harrap, which was founded in 1901 and whose sales are &quot;almost all concentrated in continental Europe&quot;, will be moved to Paris, where its work will be managed directly by Hachette&#39;s Larousse. The two imprints will retain their names, as well as all the titles. <br /><br />Alternative arrangements had been sought, including the sale of Chambers, however no buyer was found, said Hachette. A spokesman for Hachette UK, which is managing the transition on behalf of of the French company Larousse, said the parent company had &quot;enormous respect for the reputation of both imprints&quot;.<br /><br />But he explained: &quot;The market for dictionaries and reference books in print has been in decline for some years and we have looked long and hard for solutions, investigating many options, including trying to find a buyer for Chambers either in Scotland or elsewhere in publishing before ultimately, and very reluctantly, concluding there was no option other than to propose the closure of the Edinburgh offices.</p><p>&quot;The digital revolution is changing the way readers consume news and search for information. People are moving away from printed reference books and going online where, generally, they expect to get their information for free. This migration affects newspapers and book publishers alike and it is a sad fact that what may be good for the consumer has a major impact on people who earn their living in publishing and journalism.&quot;</p>