A series of independent community newspapers have been launched in Cumbria as part of a joint venture involving the North-West Evening Mail, writes Dominic Ponsford.
Five quarterly tabloid titles are to be produced for two years, going out to homes in the more deprived areas of Barrow-in-Furness.
The Evening Mail has been awarded the contract to print the newspapers by the Barrow Community Regeneration Company and veteran journalist Bill Beckett has been seconded fulltime to edit them. He is being helped by designer Will Taylor and the rest of the work will be done by volunteers.
Beckett said: “The idea is not only to provide news of what’s going on in each area, it’s to give people in those areas a voice, in that they can write articles and come and do page design if they want.
“It’s to give them every opportunity to get interested in their community and write about it if they want.”
Beckett, who has previously worked at titles including the Bristol Evening Post, Swindon Evening Advertiser, Oxford Mail and London Evening News, said: “It is not going to be a mouthpiece for the borough council, it is going to be completely independent.
They won’t carry any advertising either, so we won’t be beholden to anybody