AddThis SmartLayers

Fast-growing independent newspaper group announces latest launch plans

A fast-growing Scottish independent newspaper group is hoping to buck the market trend by launching a new weekly title next week.

The Eastside News, which will be distributed free to 8,000 homes across six small villages in East Stirlingshire, will be the latest addition to Forth Independent Newspapers’ portolio.

The East Stirlingshire area already has a paid-for title in the shape of the Trinity Mirror-owned Stirling Observer, which publishes twice a week on Wednesdays and Fridays.

But FIN says its research shows there is a potential gap in the market to be exploited by providing more ultra-local coverage, saying the East Villages area was “crying out for a newspaper to call their own.”

The new title will serve the villages of Bannockburn, Whins of Milton, Cowie, Plean, Fallin and Airth.

It joines the Wee County News, Clackmannanshire’s most popular paid-for weekly, and the Allanwater News, which was launched in Bridge of Allan and Dunblane two years ago.

Speaking from FIN’s head office in Alloa, managing director Pauline McCart said: “Following the phenomenal success of the Allanwater News, we identified the East Villages as an area crying out for a quality free weekly title.

“Extensive research not only confirmed but strengthened our belief in the validity of the launch – both from an editorial and commercial perspective. These villages are desperate for a newspaper they can identify with – one they can call their own.

She added: “The FIN ethos is that life is local; you just have to look at our titles and their growth to see how seriously we subscribe to that principle.

“We have proved in six years that there is a positive future for quality local newspapers – despite what all the doom merchants say.”