Newsquest relaunches Darlington Despatch 30 years after it stopped publishing

Newsquest is relaunching the Despatch as a weekly newspaper more than 30 years after it stopped publishing.

The rejuvenated title, a sister to daily the Northern Echo, will have two editions, Darlington and Wear Valley, and will be available in Darlington and towns across south west Durham.

The Despatch served the area as a daily newspaper up until its closure in April 1986 with the arrival of free newspapers.

The relaunched paper will use a hybrid distribution model – part paid and part free – with about 10,000 homes receiving it on a weekly basis and copies also available for pick-up in set locations.

It will cost 30p where sold.

Editor Andy Richardson said in a report announcing the relaunch on the Echo’s website: “In their heyday free papers were the go-to place for advertisers looking to connect with a local audience.

“But the days when a copy of the Advertiser was posted through every letterbox in the area has become a thing of the past – the numbers simply do not add up.

“Businesses wishing to promote their goods and services to local people are turning to a wide range of media, with digital and online platforms increasingly important, and newspapers are only part of the mix.

“Readers and advertisers tell us that they still value good quality newspapers and that is why we have launched the new Despatch.”

This is the third “heritage” newspaper brand to be revived by Newsquest this year. In March it brought back the Christchurch Times after it had spent more than 40 years out of print.

In summer, the regional publisher announced it was rebooting its Herald titles in Bournemouth and Poole to complement the Bournemouth Daily Echo. They were last printed in the 1980s.

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