Regional press readership has risen to more than 40 million adults in the UK this year, according to the latest figures from BMRB/TGI.
The percentage of adults reading a regional newspaper has increased from 84.5 per cent in 2003 to 85.4 per cent in 2004.
In the past five years, readership of regional newspapers has grown by 4 per cent. The rise comes despite falling circulation for many regional daily newspapers, particularly those in big cities. In contrast, weekly paid-for papers have been putting on sales.
Readership of paid-for weekly titles has grown by nearly 15 per cent over the past 10 years.
Lynne Anderson, communications director of the Newspaper Society, said: “These figures demonstrate how important regional newspapers are in communities across the UK. Life is lived at a very local level and local newspapers connect people to their communities.
“People buy their local newspaper to find out what is going on close to home, searching for news and advertising that is relevant to their own lives.”
By Jon Slattery