A regional Sunday newspaper which announced its closure earlier this month has been saved after being taken over by a football club’s chairman.
The Sunday Independent ceased trading two weeks ago after more than 200 years in print, but now the title, based in the Cornish town of Liskeard, has revealed it will be up and running again in time for this coming Sunday.
West Country businessman Peter Masters, who is chairman and co-owner of Truro City Football Club, has been unveiled as the Independent’s new proprietor.
Seventeen jobs have been saved as a result of the paper’s revival.
Said Peter: “Like so many of our family of readers, I’ve read the Indy every Sunday all my life. There was no way I could stand aside and let such a loved and respected part of the West Country sporting scene pass into history.
“We have lots of plans for the Indy moving forward but our driving motivation is what it has always been – to back sport in the West Country from grass roots to the top level with unrivalled in-depth quality coverage.”
The paper, which has a particular focus on sport, ran a series of editions covering Cornwall, Plymouth, Devon and Bristol & Somerset.
Its previous proprietor, Brian Doel, passed away last August.
Peter, whose club Truro City play at English football’s sixth level in the National League South, added: “We have lots of plans for the Indy moving forward but our driving motivation is what it has always been – to back sport in the West Country from grass roots to the top level with unrivalled in-depth quality coverage.”
Following the takeover, the Independent will go on sale at £1.20 each week – 20p more than previously.
Writer and photojournalist Colin Bradbury, the paper’s new managing director, said: “Our first and most important task will be to get the Indy that people love, complete with our existing team of writers and contributors, back in the shops this Sunday, 23 April.
“We hope that given the challenges the paper has faced in recent weeks, people will understand the need for this small price rise – the first for nearly a decade – to keep the title alive.”
Editor John Collings, who has worked for the Independent since 1988, added: “We have been simply overwhelmed by the messages of love and affection for the paper and we thank everybody for their support. This great news gives us a solid platform to continue and make the Indy even better.”