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Baltic Exchange finds new home: Shipping market swaps buildings with Trafalgar House

THE BALTIC Exchange, the world's oldest shipping market whose historic headquarters in the City were destroyed by an IRA bomb two and a half years ago, is to move into a newly refurbished building just yards from the site of the blast.

Under a deal with Trafalgar House, the property and shipping group, the exchange, which was founded in 1744 and has about 1,500 members representing 600 companies, is to move to a building in the same street, St Mary Axe.

The new building, at 41,000 sq ft, is substantially smaller than the old one,but the exchange will pay a further pounds 2.75m cash to Trafalgar, which will bear the cost of redeveloping the bombed site while preserving the original building's features.

The new building, which will be ready for occupation next spring, was designed by Sir Edwin Cooper in 1925 for Inchcape, the trading group, itself a member of the Baltic Exchange.

Jim Buckley, the exchange's chief executive, said the new building's smaller size was appropriate as modern technology obviated the need for a trading floor that could hold 1,000 people at once.

(Photographs omitted)