A new free weekly paper has been launched by Forth Independent Newspapers, publishers of the Wee County News.
The Allanwater News is being distributed to 8,000 homes in Bride of Allan, Dunblane and the Stirlingshire districts of Causewayhead and Cornton each week, and brings the group’s tally of titles to three.
It bought the East Kilbride Mail in March last year.
The Allanwater News is the brainchild of FIN managing director Pauline McCart and chairman Ernest Petrie, who said the case for a dedicated title serving the prosperous county towns of Bridge of Allan and Dunblane was overwhelming.
Pauline said: “Our market research confirmed our gut instinct that these towns were crying out for their own newspaper, one which would reflect the strong sense of tradition and community which courses through them – just like the Allan Water itself.
“Until the advent of the Allanwater News, these towns were treated like add-ons, peripheral to the main news agenda of the established title.
“However, these are no rural backwaters, but vibrant, lively towns that have been starved in the past of good, solid grassroots journalism providing the in-depth coverage of the high levels of cultural and commercial activity that goes on daily in these communities.
“Now they have a newspaper that will be positively parish pump, without being parochial.
“It represents a major investment by FIN in the growth of its local newspaper portfolio.”
The new title is edited by Joan McCann, who is also in the hotseat at the Alloa-based Wee County News.
She said: “Readers and advertisers have shown us how excited they are with their own newspaper – the Allanwater News.
“It’s no exaggeration to say that our staff have been bowled over by the support and enthusiasm shown by local people for this product.”
FIN bought the 26,000-distribution East Kilbride Mail a year after its launch by businessmen Steve McLaughlin, former circulation director of the Daily Record, and Crawford Brankin, one-time editor of the Scottish Mirror.
The group was formed following a management buyout of the Wee County News from Johnston Press in September 2002.