Wiltshire-based local press group expands into Dorset

A Wiltshire-based independent local press publisher is expanding into Dorset next month.

Kingsley House Publishers has been producing monthly title the Valley News since 2007 and launched its sister-title the Salisbury News in April with a combined print run of 22,000.

In December it is set to expand into neighbouring north Dorset and is looking to recruit four new members of staff to cover ad sales, distribution, marketing and editorial.

Editor and part-owner David Parker, who has been a journalist for 40 years, said ‘We are written by, delivered by, and read by a growing army of fans of our style of producing a local news magazine, which is appreciated by local advertisers getting to a local audience using us as their shop window.

‘Unlike weeklies and monthly glossies, we are well-read and have a longer shelf life – and cheaper ad rates than weeklies. Our readers participate in providing opinions, letters, photographs and reports of events from their villages. We turn it into readable stories.”

The Valley News was set up as the result of a government subsidy and according to Parker has filled a void in local newspaper reporting in the region.

He continued: ‘We’re trying to rebuild a community,’he said.

‘In my village we’ve lost our pub, our school, our post office – and it’s the same picture in other villages.”

Test circulation for the north Dorset edition was 2,100 copies but this will increase to 3,500 and then 5,000 in the New Year if ad revenues balance extra print costs.

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