A new free weekly newspaper promising an ‘acerbic look’ at the local scene has been launched in the heart of a rival publisher’s patch.
The Cheltenham Standard, which bills itself as a “no-nonsense weekly round-up” of news from the regency spa town, hit the streets for the first time on Thursday.
It is the first weekly newspaper to be published in the town for eight years, following the closure of the Cheltenham News which was owned by Northcliffe Media.
Northcliffe’s successor company Local World publishes the main paper in Cheltenham in the shape of the Gloucestershire Echo which has an average paid-for daily circulation of 12,033 according to most recently-published ABC figures.
The Standard will have a weekly print run of 10,000, with 4,000 copies delivered directly to households in the town and 6,000 available for free pick-up from retailers and supermarkets.
It is being published by Cotswold Style Ltd which already publishes an upmarket magazine of the same name.
Paul Bates, a former Archant regional managaing director who is now MD of Cotswold Style, is publisher of the new venture, while former BBC journalist Eric Barton is editor.
A news release announcing the venture promised it will take “an acerbic look at the political scene together with highlighting a host of businesses located in the town.”
Said Paul: “It’s about time Cheltenham had a decent weekly newspaper. Our aim is to deliver the best local news we can with flair, passion
and a degree of punch.”
Added Eric: “Cheltenham hasn’t had a weekly paper for over eight years so there’s enough room in the town for us as well as the Echo.”
Eric stressed that the paper would only be covering Cheltenham news and would not include stories from the surrounding area.
“If there’s a murder in Gloucester it won’t be in my paper,” he added.