A deal to save a weekly newspaper from closure after 157 years has now been confirmed.
HTFP reported earlier this year that the Tameside Reporter was facing closure after no buyers were initially found when it was struggling to generate enough income, but a proposed deal with New Charter Housing Association has now been finalised.
The Reporter, where legendary editor Sir Harry Evans started his career, and sister title the Glossop Chronicle will return to publication next week after not being published since last month, while talks over its future took place with the housing group.
Both papers will relaunch next Thursday with a new look and with the aim of having a stronger focus on the community.
Editor Nigel Skinner remains in charge of both titles, with David Jones remaining as news editor of the Chronicle after more than 40 years there.
The Reporter has also employed two new trainee reporters as its previous staff were given redundancy notices when the paper was struggling – although it is understood that most have found new jobs elsewhere.
Nigel said: “The Tameside Reporter has a long and proud tradition and I was very keen to see that continue long enough so the paper could celebrate its upcoming 160th anniversary in a few years’ time.
“The paper is, and always will be, a community focused venture dedicated to providing independent journalism to Tameside residents and our re-launch is all about re-enforcing that message as well as improving the content of the paper.
“Financially, the paper will continue to support itself with improved advertising opportunities and editorially we have full control of what goes in the paper.
“It’s been a long while since we’ve been in a position to take on new people too so we’re really looking forward to being able to train aspiring reporters.”
The support from the housing association includes a new business model created to help the Reporter support itself through advertising sales.
New Charter’s chief executive Ian Munro said: “We strongly believe that there’s a need for independent community journalism and we have helped to secure a future for the paper to keep that going while saving an important part of local history.
“We’re investing in homes with improvement works and new builds and our involvement with the paper is about using our resources to provide communities with opportunities and not just great homes to live in.
“This is a very small scale investment for us that will have many benefits for local people and the economy and we’re pleased to be able to support the paper.”
The new Tameside Reporter will have a total circulation of 25,000 copies, 15,000 of which will be delivered free to homes across nine towns in the area.
It will also be available to buy for 45p from local newsagents, with a small amount of free pick-ups in markets and Tameside Council buildings.
The relaunch comes after a group of local residents decided to publish a new title for Glossop this week in the absence of the Chronicle, called the Glossop Gazette.