A major city public relations firm is closing its doors in Birmingham after more than 30 years - and moving to Shrewsbury.
Seal, one of the best-known names in Birmingham PR and media circles, will lose six members of staff as a result.
Chief executive Katie Morris said the end of the Birmingham office was a “sound business decision” – and claimed agency clients saw the closure as an “exciting move”.
The demise of Seal in the city brings an end to a Birmingham PR dynasty which had swallowed up stalwart Central TV broadcaster Bob Warman’s Warman Group in October 2004.
At that stage, the merged group was hailed as a new force to challenge bigger rivals, sporting more than 30 PR professionals, marketing specialists and designers.
In December 2005 the agency was acquired for an undisclosed sum by marketing communications operation the Morris Company, with the enlarged business employing 40 staff from offices in Birmingham, Shrewsbury and London.
Steven Dann, who had led a management buyout in February 2003, was retained as managing director to work alongside Morris executives. He left Seal in early 2009.
The move to Shrewsbury brings the curtain down on a PR Birmingham city centre presence dating back to 1982.
Chief executive Katie Morris said in the statement: “Our Shrewsbury office will become the Seal HQ where a number of the team have worked from already for many years. Others from the Birmingham team will be joining us although not all will be transferring.
“Office relocations inevitably bring change and whilst all our team have been offered roles, six account team members have chosen redundancy.
“These roles are being replaced and we are already in the process of recruiting.
“We are rightly very proud of our client relationships which have developed over many years of working together in the majority of cases. These clients are based across the UK from Leeds to London and therefore we are able to cover the UK equally as easily from Shrewsbury as from Birmingham.”
She added: “This move is part of a long-term strategic plan to ensure the robust future health of Seal and to continue to offer senior level consultancy and creative solutions.”
Last April Seal undertook a “reshaping” of the agency to meet client needs.
Ms Morris said in a statement issued in July: “Yes, we have made some changes to the agency to reflect the services and expertise our clients expect from a genuinely integrated consultancy.
“Seal’s core offer is PR, marketing & design and digital and we’ve actually added to the teams in the first and last of those areas.
“With so much communications focusing online it was necessary to review the skillset in our studio as demand for design for printed materials naturally fell away and digital design increased.”