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Burton Mail group snaps up Staffordshire weekly

The owners of the Burton Mail and the Cambridge Evening News have bought the Staffordshire weekly Your Leek Paper.

The title was previously owned by Your Leek Paper Ltd, which has now been aquired by Iliffe News and Media Ltd, the publishing subsidiary of Yattendon Investment Trust plc.

Lauched as an independent rival to Northcliffe’s Post & Times three years ago, it becomes part of Staffordshire Newspapers Ltd, which publishes the Burton Mail, Ashbourne News Telegraph, Uttoxeter Advertiser, Staffordshire Newsletter and Black Country Bugle.

David Fordham, group publishing director of YIT said: “Your Leek Paper is an excellent fit into the Staffordshire portfolio of titles.

“In a relatively short period of time Your Leek Paper has established a good reputation and following with the local community in Leek, we hope to be able to build on this firm footing.”

It is understood the sale has resulted in a small number of redundancies, but editor Gary Shenton will stay on and retain the same editorial team.

He was formerly one of six equal shareholders who set up the paper after leaving the Post & Times when it was sold to Northcliffe.

It had previously been owned by Hill Bros and some of the team sunk redundancy money into Your Leek Paper’s launch. Since then its circulation has grown to almost 5,000 copies a week.

Gary told HoldtheFrontPage: “We’re delighted to have been bought by a group with such a good reputation and it means we can move forward and better market the paper.

“I think the fact such a large group is prepared to acquire us after just three years is a credit to the work that has been done.

“We all retain the same passion for the paper and want to really take it forward and strengthen its position in the community and win over more readers.

“We are all excited about the future.”

The weekly paper will now be printed at Burton, having previously been printed at Newark and more recently at Mortons in Lincolnshire.

The sale also includes a quarterly A4 glossy magazine, Times Gone By, a web-based Midlands business magazine and a design agency and print management division handling artwork origination, printing and publishing newsletters, town guides and corporate brochures.

  • In August last year Iliffe News and Media bought Bedford-based LSN Media Ltd, publishers of Bedfordshire on Sunday, MK News, Luton on Sunday, Dunstable on Sunday, Leighton Buzzard on Sunday and Hertfordshire on Sunday.

    It is one of the ten largest regional press publishers in the UK and the fourth largest independent regional publisher, also comprising Cambridge Newspapers, Herts & Essex Newspapers and Staffordshire Newspapers as well as holding a major share of Channel Television.

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