A weekly editor is launching an independent rival to his old newspaper after successfully winning a contract for council advertising.
The free Thurrock Enquirer will hit the streets on Thursday as a sister paper to the Essex Enquirer and the East London Enquirer, with 25,000 copies being distributed at collection points like railway and bus stations.
Neil Speight has set up the new title after winning a tender contest against rival publications to secure an advertising contract from Thurrock Council.
He is a former editor of Newsquest title the Thurrock Gazette but left two years ago and now is editor of the independent Enquirer series.
Neil said: “I am delighted that the progression of independent publishing, hopefully creating a couple of jobs and creating newspaper competition, is continuing.
“I am very proud of the newspapers we publish and the launch of a specific edition in Thurrock is something that we have been considering for some time.
“We have a huge demand for the title there and the Essex edition we put into Thurrock flies off the shelves.
“The good thing is that this deal will help us continue to employ young reporters, train them well and give them the first leg up the ladder.
“And just maybe, if we can continue to grow, we will be able to keep them through the second and third rungs of their career as well.”
Neil said Thurrock Council had decided to put the contract, which covers all kinds of advertising by the authority, out to tender to find ways of cutting its budget.
Steve Lewis, the editor of the Thurrock Gazette, declined to comment.