Regional news publisher CN Group has handed over a loss-making weekly title in Scotland to a not-for-profit company created by the local community it serves.
The Eskdale and Liddesdale Advertiser (known as the E&L) had been running at a loss “for some time”, according to CN Group, with the Carlisle-based publisher having sought a buyer since November.
GN Group agreed to continue printing the paid-for newspaper, which was due to have its final edition in December, into the New Year to allow time for a deal to be reached and offered it up for a “nominal amount”.
Ownership of the title has now been transferred to Muckel Toon Media CIC (Community Interest Company).
The CIC was formed locally by entrepreneur David Stevenson (pictured right), with help from EU funding, with the express purpose of running the paper.
The Advertiser has a circulation of about 1,200 copies in the town of Langholm, in the Scottish borders, and an editorial staff of two.
Stevenson said: “After 168 years of existence, it would have been a shame to have let the title go quietly.
“Local newspapers are the lifeblood of rural communities and with the problems which Langholm has experienced in recent years, it is important that the E&L continues to champion its regeneration, support its residents and businesses who make it such a special place to live and work.”
Miller Hogg, chief executive of CN Group (pictured left), said: “I am delighted to have achieved this outcome for the Eskdale and Liddesdale Advertiser newspaper, its staff and the community it serves.
“I believe strongly in community media and where possible, if not viable in the hands of bigger publishers, then local community trusts should be sought before any closure is instigated.
“I am pleased that the town of Langholm and the surrounding villages of the Eskdale and Liddesdale valleys will continue to have a championing newspaper to support its efforts and to report on its community activities and news.”
Picture: CN Group