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August 30, 2018

Social enterprise to launch third free community newspaper in north east London in four years

By Dorothy Musariri

A London-based social enterprise is set to launch its third local newspaper in four years with the help of donations from local residents and organisations.

Community news publisher Social Spider Community Interest Company will launch the monthly Enfield Dispatch in print on 1 October.

It previously launched the Waltham Forest Echo (pictured) in 2014 and Tottenham Community Press two years later.

Similar to its sister titles, the paper will be written by local residents with  news, events, community projects and campaigns around Enfield.

It will be available for free at distribution points including cafes, libraries, railway stations and community centres.

Social Spider CIC has asked local residents and organisations to help fund the first issue by making donations of up to £200. Those who contribute will automatically become “founding members” and be “celebrated” in the first edition.

James Cracknell, who has edited the Waltham Forest Echo since 2015, will also take on the role as editor of the Enfield Dispatch.

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Cracknell said: “This is very exciting news for Enfield. In a time of decline for so many local newspapers around the country, I’m delighted that Social Spider CIC is continuing to show its support for the industry by opening its third publication in north-east London.”

The launch comes a year after the closure of weekly paper Enfield Gazette & Advertiser, which had been in print for 143 years.

Cracknell previously worked as a freelance reporter at the Advertiser and said its closure “left a big hole to fill”.

He added: “Local papers play a fundamental role in their communities, as a platform for people to raise concerns, promote events and projects, and hold authority to account.

“I hope that Enfield Dispatch will help fulfil this role in Enfield and I would urge local people to show their support for community media and get behind it.”

Enfield is also covered by Newsquest-owned weekly Enfield Independent.

David Floyd, director of Social Spider CIC, said: “These are challenging times for local news with many newspapers closing and advertising revenue in decline, but our social enterprise model offers a new approach to creating sustainable publications which are responsive to and reflective of the communities they serve.”

Picture: Social Spider CIC

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