The Enfield Gazette sold out for the first time in recent memory after the biggest overhaul in its 144-year history.
The Trinity Mirror-owned title has been renamed The Gazette and increased the number of editorial pages from 36 to 40 with a number of new features. It has also started an innovative project aimed at involving schoolchildren in the paper.
So far, 10 schools have been invited to contribute to a new four-page section in the paper written for and by schoolchildren. Eventually, the paper hopes to involve all 70 schools in the Enfield area in the scheme with dropoff points made available in each school for stories and pictures.
The paper is also helping to launch a quarterly youth newspaper for secondary school pupils that will be entirely written, designed and edited by the children themselves.
Other additions include a consumer page, a new history section, an expanded arts section and a doublepage investigative-style “Agenda” feature examining key local and Londonwide issues. There will also be an Enfield People section, focusing on personalities across the borough, more community columnists reflecting a cross-section of local opinion and a regular Down the Pub vox-pop style feature on the letters page.
Next week The Gazette will launch the Pride of North London Awards, marking endeavour across Enfield.
Simon Jones, who took over as editor of the paid-for weekly in January, said: “We want to engage our community in every way. We want to stand up for our borough and to make sure that the Gazette, more than ever before, becomes the heartbeat of local life.”
The Gazette normally sells around 3,000 copies but last week all 5,000 printed were sold. Jones said: “The response has been absolutely overwhelming. The problem of pushing The Gazette has been particularly hard because we also produce an exceptionally high-quality, award-winning free newspaper, The Enfield Advertiser.
“But people have really taken to the new Gazette and shown that there is a place for both high-quality frees and high-quality paid-fors in Enfield.”
By Dominic Ponsford