Jubilee inspires launch of Tindle's new Devon weekly

South Devon and Somerset Series staff outside their office in Axminster, Devon

The Queen’s Golden Jubilee has inspired a West Country publishing group to launch a new title – the Ottery St Mary Advertiser.

South Devon and Somerset Series of Newspapers, part of Tindle Newspapers, recognised the community spirit engendered by the royal celebrations in the east Devon town of Ottery St Mary and utilised it to launch its seventh title.

The first issue of the Advertiser, which included full coverage of the town’s Jubilee celebrations, splashed on safety concerns expressed over the installation of a second £750,000 cattle incinerator at a local abattoir.

Initially, the paper will be delivered free to homes in and around the town, one of the fastest growing in east Devon, boosting the group’s total circulation to more than 20,000 per week.

Announcing the new title, Sir Ray Tindle, chairman of Tindle Newspapers, said: "Ottery St Mary has nearly doubled its growth over the past 20 years and is a busy, community-minded town that deserves its own newspaper. The Ottery St Mary Advertiser has been launched by an enthusiastic and excellent staff and I know it will succeed."

Philip Evans has been appointed managing director of South Devon and Somerset Series. Evans, 53, is one of east Devon’s most experienced newspaper managers and has been running the series, based in Axminster, for the Tindle group for the past five years. He is also editing the new Advertiser and has two permanent staff, Tony Woodman, news editor, reporter Alex Alexander and three freelances.

Evans will have responsibility for Pulman’s Weekly News, one of Devon’s oldest titles, the Honiton Advertiser, the Yeovil Clarion, the Crewkerne Advertiser and the Chard Advertiser as well as the new weekly.

The group also publishes a monthly recruitment newspaper, Jobfinder, distributed in east Devon, south Somerset and west Dorset.

The new title has been welcomed by civic and business leaders in the town. Chamber of Commerce chairman Paul Hackett commented: "It’s good to have a newspaper flying the flag for Ottery St Mary. The town welcomes this initiative and we wish the venture every success."

Tindle Newspapers is one of the few remaining independent weekly newspaper publishers. The company owns seven local radio stations and 130 local weekly titles.

Jean Morgan

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