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£500,000 development fund for weekly newspaper series

A £500,000 development fund has been set aside by the owners of a weekly newspaper series covering towns in Devon, Dorset and Somerset.

The Tindle newspaper group announced the move at the launch of the Colyton Advertiser, which is the group’s 214th title.

Sir Ray Tindle, owner of Tindle Newspapers, told staff he had earmarked the money – and transferred it to a Tindle account at a bank in Honiton.

Group managing director Brian Doel said: “We have had these titles for a long time and had been in the doldrums for a while.

“In the past six months they have turned around and started producing a profit.

“The money is there if it is needed for new editions, extra staff if required and development of the titles themselves.”

One of the series, the Pulman’s Weekly News at Axminster, was bought from Northcliffe, while several others, including the new Colyton Advertiser, have been created through new launches.

The other four editions in the series are at Honiton, Ottery St Mary, Chard and Crewkerne.

  • Sir Ray Tindle, seated centre, with executives and staff of the Axminster centre
  • The turn around to profitability was marked with a £5,000 donation to buy special beds for an Alzheimer’s disease hospital unit at Honiton.

    Brian said: “One of the things we want to do is give more back to the community.

    “That’s part of the Tindle philosophy – newspapers being part of their community.”

    The Colyton Advertiser brings the number of newspapers and radio stations under Sir Ray’s control to 214, many of which have been acquired or launched in the last 18 months.

    Tindle is expected to reveal shortly that the financial year ended March 31 saw the highest profit in the company’s history.