Two family-run broadsheet newspapers still printed entirely in black and white are to relaunch in full colour next year to mark their 90th anniversary in print.
The Lymington Times and New Milton Advertiser, known collectively as the Advertiser and Times (or A&T), will move to new high-speed presses in Portsmouth, Hampshire, owned by Johnston Press.
The weekly papers covering New Forest and Christchurch are currently printed in New Milton, Hampshire, on a 1960s converted letterpress printer powered by a John Deer tractor engine.
The final black and white edition will come off the press on the 18 January. The new full-colour Advertiser and Times will be in local shops the week after on Friday, 26 January, still priced at 50p.
The paid for papers have a combined circulation of 15,590 according to ABC figures to the end of December.
Advertiser and Times managing director is Eddie Curry, 63, is among the four generations of Currys involved in running the business.
Curry, whose niece Marianne Gregory and sister Caroline Woodford are also directors at the independent publisher, said: “Everyone at the A&T is rightly proud as we approach our 90th year as an independent paper – especially when the wider industry is facing serious challenges.
“We’ve endured by staying true to our high journalistic standards and traditional, ultra-local focus. Going colour is the logical next step to maintain the material and editorial quality that our loyal readership expects.
“We’ve worked hard to preserve the A&T’s spirit while making it more accessible, up to date, and attractive to advertisers eager to reach what is a very affluent area.”
The change of printing press has resulted in the loss of four, full-time jobs with two staff having been retained in other roles.
Said Curry: “They have worked wonders to get such results out of a more than 50-year-old black and white press. Savings will be reinvested to develop further plans that we intend to announce next year.”
Staff at the paper will get a brand new, purpose-built newsroom at their offices in Compton Road, New Milton, following renovations due to be completed next summer.
Advertiser and Times commercial development manager Alison Thomas said: “We’ve listened to local and national advertisers and I think they will embrace our new full-colour pages.
“This is a real opportunity for eye-catching designs and campaigns to reach thousands of customers in the New Forest and Christchurch.”