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Tindle bids to return weekly to hyperlocal roots

Sir Ray Tindle is planning to turn his latest weekly newspaper acquisition into a series of smaller titles in a bid to take it back to its roots.

The community newspaper entrepreneur completed his purchase of the 136-year-old Forester from Northcliffe last month.

Already he has launched two new paid-for local editions of the title, the Cinderford Forester and the Newent Forester, covering two towns on the existing Forester patch.

And he plans to launch at least two more – probably the Lydney Forester and the Coleford Forester – recreating two titles that actually existed until around 20 years ago.

Managing director Brian Doel told HTFP: “If you go back 20 years it used to be the Lydney Forester and the Coleford Forester before it was rebranded into one title.

“We’re taking it back to its roots, to a time when it was the local paper for all those towns in the Forest of Dean.”

Mr Doel said The Forester would continue to exist as a title, but would only serve those towns and villages that did not have their own specific Forester edition.

The strategy almost exactly mirrors that employed by Sir Ray when he purchased the West Wales Observer more than 30 years ago. He swiftly rebranded it the Tenby Observer and banned generic West Wales news from appearing in it.

Sir Ray added: “We totally believe in the future of printed local newspapers – we believe in it 100 per cent.

“Readers want to see their very local news and reports of their activities in print and they want it in their local paper where all their neighbours will see it too.”

The Forester, priced 60p, currently goes to around 12,000 households in the Forest.