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January 12, 2016updated 13 Jan 2016 3:08pm

Mirror team led by Alison Phillips believed to be working on new cut-price national newspaper

By William Turvill

A team of Mirror journalists have been seconded to work on a new, cut-price national newspaper, well-placed sources have told Press Gazette.

The small team is being led by Sunday editor Alison Phillips along with executive editor Barry Rabbetts.

Several well-placed sources have told Press Gazette there is a team working on the project, and the company has confirmed it is "exploring alternative revenue streams".

Two of the sources suggested that if the newspaper does come into existence, only a small team will work exclusively on it.

It is understood the cut-price newspaper would seek to replicate the success of The Independent's i newspaper.

Launched in 2010, the i has a weekday price of 40p and an average daily circulation of  273,961, compared with The Independent's 56,005.

The Daily Mirror currently costs 60p, making it the most expensive red-top tabloid, and the same price as the mid-market Daily Mail.

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In October, Northern and Shell halved the price of its red-top Star newspapers, with the daily now costing 20p.

The title's average circulation in November was 450,045, up from 403,380 in September, according to ABC. 

And the company has also introduced price cuts at the Express, with the Saturday price reduced to 45p – cheaper than the 55p weekday edition.

Last March, Trinity Mirror confirmed it was "evaluating certain of Northern and Shell's assets". But last month Northern and Shell chairman Richard Desmond denied "rumours" of an Express Newspapers sale to Trinity Mirror

It emerged last month that Trinity Mirror was considering creating a new, cut-price newspaper, but the company declined to comment.

When Press Gazette asked Trinity Mirror yesterday if was true that Phillips and Rabbetts were working on a new cut-price national newspaper, a spokesperson said: "We are exploring alternative revenue streams across the publishing division as part of our ongoing strategy and we have seconded some resource as part of this."

With Phillips seconded to this project, the Mirror's Sunday titles are currently being edited by Gary Jones.

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