Cornwall’s Sunday Independent has been saved after a football club owner stepped in to take over the 200-year-old title which had looked set to close.
The paper’s previous edition, published two weeks ago, was described by editor John Collings as “the last one”, but he added: “That is, unless somebody comes over the horizon on a white horse.”
Now Peter Masters, chairman and co-owner of Truro City football club, has bought the title with plans to get it back in shops this coming weekend with a 20p price hike to £1.20.
He said: “Like so many of our family of readers, I’ve read the Indy every Sunday all my life. There was no way I could stand aside and let such a loved and respected part of the West Country sporting scene pass into history.”
“We have lots of plans for the Indy moving forward but our driving motivation is what it has always been – to back sport in the West Country from grass roots to the top level with unrivalled in-depth quality coverage.”
The move saves 17 jobs at the paper’s headquarters in Liskeard, Cornwall.
The paper’s new managing director, writer and photojournalist Colin Bradbury, said: “Our first and most important task will be to get the Indy that people love, complete with our existing team of writers and contributors, back in the shops this Sunday, April 23.
“We hope that given the challenges the paper has faced in recent weeks, people will understand the need for a small price rise – the first for nearly a decade – to keep the title alive.”
The Sunday Independent, established in 1808, publishes four editions covering Devon, Cornwall, Bristol and Plymouth.
It specialises in regional sports coverage, writing about almost 40 different sports for the region with a particular focus on county cricket.
Editor Collings, who has worked for the Sunday Independent since 1988, said: “We have been simply overwhelmed by the messages of love and affection for the paper and we thank everybody for their support.
“This great news gives us a solid platform to continue and make the Indy even better.”