The Walsall Advertiser is striving for a Brave New Walsall in an effort to boost the area’s economy, improve the image of the borough and create a feel-good factor amongst locals.
The paper has taken a stance against Walsall’s negative publicity and is focusing on the development of the town’s Waterfront area as the place to attract visitors.
It has also run a series of feature articles about successful local people and businesses and has more community development programmes planned for the coming year.
Advertiser news editor Ian Edmunds, who started the initiative, said: “I wanted the paper to take a stance against the negative publicity and raise the aspirations of local people so they would feel good about Walsall.
“It’s hard to measure a ‘feel-good factor’ but we don’t want people to be thinking ‘It’s only Walsall – it’s second best’.
“As a paper, we feel the Waterfront area could be a major leisure facility not just for the people of Walsall but also for people from outside. It could really help the local economy grow.”
The paper kicked off the campaign with the support of Walsall FC player-manager and former England international Paul Merson.
Ian said: “Getting Paul was one of the biggest moves the club ever made. Although Walsall were relegated they have been positive in appointing Paul. The campaign is really summed up by the way the club is now moving forward.”
The Advertiser is planning a two-day event in October for the public to have their say on the town’s future and is continuing the campaign with its series of features.
Ian said: “The ‘Boy Done Good’ features are about people from the borough who had humble beginnings and have since moved forward to become key figures.
“We’ve also looked at the business side in articles called ‘Hidden Gems’ about local companies’ success that people might not be fully aware of.
“In every piece we’ve asked for feedback inviting readers to tell us what they think is good about Walsall and what isn’t. I have put the roots down for this but it’s the people of Walsall who can shape the future.”
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