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Lebedev in funding boost for local politics website

A hyperlocal website which focuses on local politics in Stoke-on-Trent has been given a funding boost by a new journalism charity backed by London Evening Standard owner Evgeny Lebedev.

Pits n Pots was set up in response to what is saw as a lack of coverage of local council matters in the Staffordshire city in an effort to increase interest in local politics.

The site was launched in 2008 but took a break between August and November this year.

Now it has been backed by new charity The Journalism Foundation launched this week by Mr Lebedev and Simon Kelner, former editor-in-chief of The Independent.

The foundation is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to promote, develop and sustain free and fair journalism across the world.

Mike Rawlins from Pits n Pots said: “I’m delighted that Pits n Pots is going to be supported by the newly launched Journalism Foundation. Having the support of the foundation will allow me to do three things.

“First, I am hoping to investigate ways for Pits n Pots to become a more sustainable public service business model while improving the awareness and reach of the site.

“Second, I will be looking to find ways to promote better democratic, popular engagement across sections of the population who have not traditionally been engaged with democracy.

“Finally, I will hope to use The Journalism Foundation’s support to create a template that can be used by active democratically engaged people across the country.”

Simon Kelner, who will be chief executive of the foundation, added:  “I am delighted to lead this new body, which will show that journalism can be a force for good by supporting initiatives that have a direct and positive effect on people’s lives.”

The Journalism Foundation is seeking new projects to invest in and new partners to help fund those projects.

To get involved go to or follow @4journalism.