David Prior, who founded Altrincham Today, has now set up Hyperlocal Today, a new mobile-first platform which he is licensing to journalists who want to launch their own hyperlocal publishing business.
Launched in August 2014, Altrincham Today claims 80,000 unique visitors and 450,000 views a month, as well as a combined social media community of over 11,000, despite only serving a town with an official population of 45,000.
Last week it was named startup of the year at the Altrincham & Sale Chamber of Commerce awards and is the only hyperlocal site to receive a nomination in next month’s O2 Media North West awards.
Said David, pictured: “Altrincham Today was borne out of frustration at the way my home town was being covered by the established local press – they were barely scraping the surface of what was really going on.
“With the bigger publishers still very much engaged in adjusting to the challenges of digital-first publishing, I believe there is a glaring opportunity for skilled, remote and entrepreneurial journalists to claim the ground and establish themselves as the leading hub of news and information in their particular town.
“Our licensing model allows them to do that very easily – we take care of the site design, graphic design, hosting, technical support and everything else that can be time-consuming and unpredictable, while they take care of the content and community-building on the ground.”
David is inviting journalists with at least 10 hours’ availability a week to contact him for an informal chat about a project in their area.
He added: “Hyperlocal is I believe the future of local news, something that the BBC for instance is beginning to realise.
“Advertisers are also starting to recognise that at a hyperlocal level, readers can act upon an advert or an article very quickly because they’re likely to live only a few minutes from that business.”