Local publisher Sir Ray Tindle is to launch a weekly newspaper for London at the same time as reviving three defunct print titles in the capital.
The London Weekly News, a free title covering the centre of London and aimed partially at the 5m tourists who visit it each year, will hit the streets for the first time on Thursday.
At the same time, Sir Ray, pictured, is resuscitating three historic print brands first launched in Victorian times and currently defunct.
They are the Westminster and Pimlico News, first established in l857, the Kensington News, which dates from 1869, and the Chelsea News, also first published in 1857.
All three papers will appear as pullouts inside the Weekly News and also as self-contained editions within their own areas.
The initiative is being overseen by Karen Sheppard, managing director of the South London Press whose staff have produced the content for the new titles, and Philip Evans, who runs a series of Tindle-owned weeklies in the West Country.
Said Philip: “The original idea and planning came from the Chairman, Ray Tindle. He and vice chairman Wendy Craig put the proposition to Karen and myself. We have brought it to life.
“We know the risk perfectly well but I am excited about it as it’s such a positive move. Trying to solve our problem by increasing local revenue is much better than solving it by more cuts.
Added Karen: “Publishing a new newspaper is always exciting but this particular one, right in the heart of London, had unique difficulties for us at first.
“It was hugely rewarding, however, as we conquered the problems one by one. The staff involved threw themselves into it and they have loved the challenge.
“Planning the approach to organising an entirely new paper plus resuscitating three old ones hasn’t been easy but we’ve survived! If it works it could help all our other papers in London.
“Using staff this way with a chance of replacing lost revenue must be worth trying – and its exciting, too! I’ve spent many years in local newspapers but this has been the biggest challenge of my career.”
Sir Ray commented: “Philip and Karen and the staff have done a tremendous job. They have exceeded my expectations, and Wendy and I are well pleased with what they have produced.
“The papers are magnificent, particularly bearing in mind we only gave them four weeks from our first mention to them of the project.”
The Tindle group has now launched 23 new newspapers since the start of the recession in 2008 and has also bought around 20 other titles in the same period.
Sir Ray added: “Weeklies, in my opinion, have a great future, publishing local news in depth.”