Go-ahead for North West Enquirer

By Jon Slattery

The new quality regional weekly planned for the North West has this week secured seven-figure backing and aims to launch in May.

Called the North West Enquirer, the independent paper aims to have a
settle down circulation of between 15,000 to 20,000 and a cover price
of £1. Publication day will be either on a Wednesday or Thursday.

The
managing director is Nick Jaspan and the launch editor Bob Waterhouse.
A 14-strong editorial team is currently being recruited for the paper
on salaries well above normal rates for regional journalists.

Backing has come from two venture capitalist firms and 12 individuals.

The
Enquirer will be printed by either Northcliffe, Trinity Mirror or
Morton’s of Horncastle and be distributed by the FT. Its head office
will be at Bank House, close to Manchester’s China town in the centre
of the city.

Non-executive directors of the paper will include
former Trinity Mirror executive Stephen Parker; ex-Conservative
minister Sir David Trippier; and Sir David Henshaw, chief executive of
Liverpool City Council.

Jaspan told Press Gazette: “The phoney
war is over, now we have to make it work. This is my fourth start-up.
It is scary that a lot of regional papers are making redundancies and
cutting back but we are going for a different upmarket readership.
We’ve had a very high quality of staff applying for jobs.”

The
Enquirer is aimed at the 1.3 million AB adults in the North West and
will be sold in Cumbria, Lancashire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester and
Cheshire.

Waterhouse claims the concept of a regional weekly with
such a large circulation area is unique in the UK. He told Press
Gazette in December the paper would target professionals who are
“interested in something broader than local issues.” He said: “The
paper will be editorially led and stand or fall on the quality of its
reporting and of its whole editorial.”

It is planned as a 96-page paper with regular supplements.

Picture: Managing director Nick Jaspan, left, and launch editor Bob Waterhouse.

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