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New weekly hits market town

A new weekly paper has hit the streets of the market town of Leek this week.

Your Leek Paper has been set up by several former employees of the Staffordshire-based Leek Post & Times, which was recently bought by the Northcliffe group.

The people who left when Hill Bros was bought out are now working to make it a potential competitor to their former employer.

Many have sunk redundancy money into the paper, which will serve Leek and its surrounding villages.

The new title is being billed as ‘For the People of Leek – By the People of Leek’, and to get the ball rolling 10,000 copies are being given away for its first two weeks.

It will then be published weekly with an initial print run of 7,500 and a cover price of 30p.

Editor of the new title is Gary Shenton, who previously edited the Leek Post & Times and worked for Hill Bros for 32 years.

He said: “When Northcliffe took over at the Post & Times I was offered a post on the subs desk on The Sentinel, but decided to take redundancy.

“In January I got a call from Alan Lyford, the former production manager of the Post & Times who asked me if I fancied editing a new weekly paper and I said ‘yes’.”

The new paper now has a staff of seven, six of whom are equal shareholders.

Gary said: “There are six shareholders who are all former Post & Times staff, plus a silent partner.

“We currently have one reporter working for us and are hoping to take on another news reporter shortly.”

Launching the paper, its front page promised it will be “a paper for the community to be involved with and used as a vehicle to express their views”.

Gary said: “We’ve had a successful launch and the 10,000 copies have all but gone.

“We’ve had a fabulous response and have had emails from as far away as San Fransico and Canada from readers who have seen us on the Internet.

“We have also had a lot of phone calls from people saying how much they like the new paper.”

  • During Gary’s 32 years with Hill Bros he held various positions within the group, beginning as a junior reporter in 1970. In the late 1980s he was appointed editor of the North Staffs News and was also involved in the development of new titles such as the Cheadle Post & Times.

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