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Sunday paper tops regional ABCs with 34pc year-on-year rise

A Sunday newspaper has posted a year-on-year print circulation rise of more than a third in the regional ABC figures published today.

The Glasgow-based Sunday Herald’s average circulation increased by 34.7pc in the period July to December 2014 compared to the same period the previous year to stand at 32,021.

The rise came as its companion website, shared with daily sister title The Herald, saw its average unique monthly users increase from 1.4m to 1.9m.

Of paid-for daily titles, the ABC figures revealed the Belfast Telegraph to be the best performing despite a 3.4pc decline leaving its circulation at 45,905.

Bel Tel editor Mike Gilson left the title earlier this month to take up a new role at The Argus, Brighton – which saw its own circulation fall 12.2pc to 13,309.

The Blackburn-based Lancashire Telegraph posted a decrease of 3.5pc to make it the second best performing paid-for daily, while the Guernsey Press and Star was down 3.9pc in third.

The Birmingham Mail suffered the highest year-on-year drop at 20.5pc, leaving its circulation at 30,597.

Wolverhampton’s Express & Star retained the highest circulation at 71,585, although this followed a 13.2pc decline.

The Sunday Herald was the only daily to support Scottish independence ahead of the referendum last September, pictured below.

Parent company Newsquest also released pro-independence Scottish daily The National, which is run by Sunday Herald editor Richard Walker, in November.

Sunday Herald

Group managing director Tim Blott said: “It is important to look at the ABC statistics in the context of a changing media landscape, where readers and news brands alike are evolving how they access and share information.

“While there will be the normal rash of people out there using these market figures to say newspapers are dead, we’re glad to demonstrate this is not the case.

“Our news brand reach is growing overall with an increasing digital audience across our main titles and improving print circulation figures for The Sunday Herald.

“This is a huge, unrivalled and sustained success, and I commend our staff while thanking our readers in helping us in achieving it.”