The independent newspaper group funded by ex-Northcliffe employees’ redundancy cheques, Your Leek Paper Ltd, has been acquired by Iliffe News and Media for an undisclosed sum.
IN&M is a subsidiary of the Yattendon Investment Trust — the fourth largest independent regional newspaper publisher in the UK.
In 2000, seven former Leek Post & Times employees decided to launch Your Leek Paper as a rival title to their old paper when the family-owned business was sold to regional newspaper giant Northcliffe for a rumoured £3m.
Since its launch, circulation has grown to 5,000. Your Leek Paper Ltd also publishes an A4 glossy magazine, Times Gone By, runs a design agency and a print management division and recently launched an online business magazine.
Editor Gary Shenton said: "We could not be with a better group. We will still be proudly independent because we will be part of an independent group and we will stand by the people of Leek.
"The staff are still in place and we all either live or have worked in the town for the majority of our lives, so nothing changes really, but the paper has the backing of an independent group. It’s a giant step forward."
Your Leek Paper Ltd will become part of Staffordshire Newspapers Ltd, which also publishes papers in Burton-upon- Trent, Stafford, Ashbourne, Uttoxeter and the Black Country. MD Gary Matthews said: "We are delighted, as a family company, to be acquiring a newspaper such as YLP. The staff are as determined as we are to take the title forward and we are excited by its prospects."