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February 3, 2020updated 30 Sep 2022 8:53am

160-year-old Cumberland and Westmorland Herald goes into administration with six jobs lost

By Freddy Mayhew and Charlotte Tobitt

The 160-year-old Cumberland and Westmorland Herald newspaper has gone into administration, resulting in six redundancies.

A notice from administrators KPMG said options to sell the weekly broadsheet newspaper, which covers a large area of East Cumbria, are currently being explored.

A total of 26 staff are employed by the independent title at its base in Penrith, with six having made redundant immediately after the appointment of administrators today.

The title has been in print since November 1860, first publishing as the Penrith Herald under editor-proprietor Thomas Hodgson. The latest circulation figures are just under 11,000.

Howard Smith, associate partner at KPMG and joint administrator, said: “The Herald has been a cornerstone of the community in East Cumbria for over a hundred years.

“Unfortunately, however, an increasing deficit in the company’s defined benefits pension scheme, in addition to the longstanding pressures facing the regional print media industry were behind the directors’ difficult decision to place the company into administration.

“Our intention is to continue to trade the business for a short period while we explore options for a possible sale.”

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A further two editions of the paper are expected to be published under the direction of the editor.

One member of the paper’s editorial team, who asked to remain anonymous, described the office as feeling like a “funeral” following the meeting in which staff were told the news at 2pm today.

“There is a sad feeling of a loss, not just people and their jobs for the community and a paper that really does centre at the heart of the community.”

They added that there was a “real sense of unity” among staff that they would work together or with anyone who gets in touch with ideas for the company moving forward.

Interested parties should contact Ryan Manuel at KPMG on 0161 246 4151.

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