Independently owned paid-for weekly Your Leek Paper, set up with redundancy cheques, has reached its first anniversary.
This time last year, seven journalists left the Leek Post and Times to set up YLP as a rival title after the familyowned business was taken over by Northcliffe Newspapers.
Following the takeover, Post editor Gary Shenton was asked to move onto the subs’ desk of the Northcliffeowned Stoke Sentinel. He took redundancy and used his cheque to help fund the venture along with six other investors and took the role of editor.
One year on, the paper employs 18 staff and claims to be selling 5,000 copies a week, to the Leek Post and Times’s ABC figure of 10,974.
Circulation of the Leek Post and Times is said to have increased by 500 over the past three months after it expanded sales into Stoke on Trent.
Shenton said: “It’s been extremely hard work and many of us have been working six-day weeks, but the rewards have been plentiful.
“It’s great to know we have been well received – not just through sales but what people have been saying on the streets and in our letters pages.”
Now the main focus for Shenton is perfecting editorial and production.
“First and foremost we must strengthen our position in Leek. But I envisage in the future that we will expand into the villages and ultimately launch a standalone paper in Stoke on Trent.”