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June 12, 2019updated 30 Sep 2022 7:54am

Bedford Independent claims to reach 76,000 monthly readers six months after launch

By James Walker

The Bedford Independent news website claims to be reaching 76,000 readers a month on average six months after its launch.

The website went live in November after Reach (formerly Trinity Mirror) closed weekly newspaper the Bedfordshire on Sunday and then its replacement the Bedfordshire Midweek after eight months.

Analytics data, shared with Press Gazette, shows the Bedford Independent reached a peak of 108,858 average unique visitors in May, having steadily grown its readership from 1,404 monthly uniques in November.

Bedford Independent co-managing editor Paul Hutchinson said: “People in Bedford are passionate about where they live and it was clear within weeks of the Bedfordshire on Sunday closing that genuine news coverage in the town had all but disappeared.

“Our goal was to establish a trusted news brand, delivering relevant, researched and well-reported news to the people of Bedford Borough and beyond.

“We knew that to build an organic following would take time, so to be delivering these incredible statistics in just six months is testament to the hard work we have dedicated to delivering daily news to Bedford.”

The Independent’s commercial director, Julia Course-Crofts, said being an online-only news publisher in a town once “dominated” by print titles had been a “challenge from a commercial perspective”.

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She said: “Old habits do die hard, but we’ve found that when businesses take a chance on digital advertising with us their concern quickly turns to satisfaction as they see increased hits on their websites, more visitors at their events and greater brand awareness at a ‘lower than print’ cost.”

Speaking to Press Gazette in August last year, Hutchinson said towns like Bedford were “not getting good local coverage like they used to”.

Bedford is also served by JPI Media newspaper the Bedford Times and Citizen and sister website Bedford Today.

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