CN Group, publishers of the News & Star , has announced a series of proposals to restructure its editorial operation and opened up a company-wide voluntary redundancy scheme.

In a series of briefings, staff have been told the financial performance of the business needs to improve to help maintain its ability to invest in its future and sustainability.

As such, the company is looking to reduce editorial costs by £600,000 a year to help improve financial results.

The proposals include centrally managing a reduced number of production journalists working across all titles.

Similarly, it is proposed there will be a smaller team of centrally-managed photographers.

In west Cumbria, it is proposed staff on three titles – Times & Star, Whitehaven News and News & Star West – would be merged into one west Cumbria team, under the leadership of one editor. All titles and offices will continue to operate.

A number of localised proposals are also being consulted on across the group.

David Helliwell The group’s editorial director, David Helliwell, said: “Like all in the local media business, we cannot hide from some tough choices. 

"The proposals announced today would put our titles on a stronger financial footing while retaining our ability to cover our communities thoroughly. Our priority now is to consult fully with all staff who would be affected.”

Applications for voluntary redundancy will be open until Wednesday, February 17.

The company does not intend making any further statement until it has concluded consulting with its staff.