Spring 2007 launch set for first Welsh daily

Next spring has been confirmed as the launch date for the first daily newspaper in Welsh, with St David's Day likely.

Y Byd (The World) hopes for an eventual circulation of 15,000, with perhaps one-third sold by subscription through newsagents.

The mid-to-up-market tabloid is expected to be aimed at readers of The Guardian and The Independent; it is understood that thoughts of a Sun-style operation were dropped because many fluent working-class Welsh-speakers lack confidence in writing.

Coverage of the National Assembly will be important — particularly as only one of the six Welsh dailies currently has a full-time staff journalist in the press gallery in Cardiff.

Ned Thomas, chairman of Dyddiol Cyf (Daily Ltd), with a magazines and academic background, has already advertised for the half-dozen basic posts for the operation, including editor and news and features editors.

Thomas said that still under negotiation were location of headquarters (mid-Wales) and the sponsorship deals for individual pages and sections within the 32-page Monday-to-Friday newspaper.

The set-up cost he reckoned at around £1m, from a mix of sponsorship, business start up grants, shareholders and banks; investments from individuals already exceed £300,000.

Thomas refuses to name printers, although he admits it might be politically difficult to print outside Wales.

He admits advertising seems "very volatile"; public sector jobs will be an important source.

It is also planned that Y Byd will have a website.

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