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Revamp for Midlands weeklies and websites

The Midland News Association is planning a relaunch of its West Midlands weeklies and two websites.

The publisher, owner of dailies the Express and Star and Shropshire Star, says it will be revamping its ‘Chronicle’ series of free titles, which circulate in the West Midlands, Staffordshire and Worcestershire.

The changes to the Chronicle series, including increased pagination, are due to come in later this month.

In addition, both and are to be redesigned.

This is the latest in a series of moves by the company which closed the Stafford and Stone Chronicle in June and, at the same time, scrapped the cover price of the Stafford edition of the E&S on Wednesdays.

And in April the Shrewsbury Chronicle underwent a facelift and is now handed out free in the town centre while outlying areas enjoyed a 10p price drop.

MNA managing director Alan Harris said: “We have undertaken a series of relaunches to ensure that our weekly newspapers are providing the best possible coverage of local news and events.

“The regional press has faced a number of challenges in the past couple of years but we have focused on continuing to do what we do best so we are in prime position when the upturn comes.”

Elsewhere, the KM Group has relaunched the Monday edition of the twice-weekly Medway Messenger.

Property and motoring sections have been introduced alongside a more modern masthead and page furniture, new features and new structure.

Editor Bob Bounds said: “We want to put a spring in the step of our readers on Mondays and for that reason the emphasis will be on a brighter, fresher paper which provides a good amount of positive news about Medway people.”