A cover price increase is set to come into effect before Christmas at a number of Johnston Press newspapers.
It has emerged that prices are to rise at several JP titles in Lancashire and Sussex, while Sheffield daily The Star has also confirmed a five pence increase this week.
HTFP has asked JP whether the increases are taking place group-wide, but the company has yet to respond to the request.
Wrote James: “Cards on the table: the price of The Star will be increasing today, from 65p to 70p. For the time being, I will freeze the price of subscriptions to allow people to take advantage of the lower price.
“Since I arrived in 2013 I have doggedly kept the cover price down, doing my utmost to ensure the whole media package that comes out of Sheffield Newspapers represents value for money.
“It’s never easy to ask loyal readers to pay more, but I do believe that after two years with no price rise whatsoever, now is the right time to ask you for a little more.”
“The Star is breaking records and bagging coveted industry awards on your behalf. And, make no mistake about it, the extra five pence per day from you will be reinvested to make us better.
Added James: “It will help me to build a new mobile app, new website and refresh the look of your paper in 2016. I’m determined to keep The Star ahead of the competition.
“It will also help me to invest in more of the journalism that compels you to write to me by way of thanks. Nothing makes my job more worthwhile than someone from the local communities we serve saying thank you.”
Both the Chorley and Leyland Guardians will increase from £1 to £1.10.
Elsewhere the Mid Sussex Times revealed last week its cover price would rise by five pence to 90p from Christmas Eve.
In a piece announcing the change, pictured below, the paper said annual subscription prices would be frozen until 1 February.
The announcement stated: “The truth is, the price we charge you is heavily subsidised by the advertising inside. In a digital age and economically turbulent times, that subsidy from our advertisers has effectively reduced which is why, very sadly, we must increase the price.
“There are alternatives. We could reduce the quality of the independent journalism – but newspapers like this one have a vital duty ro hold to account those in authority, to stand up for or communities, and to tell difficult stories on your behalf in the public interest.
“It is a responsibility from which we never shy away. We continue to invest in the very best 24/7 breaking news local websites and to campaign for you and this community that we are so proud to serve.”
“We thank you for your valued custom in the past and trust you will continue with us despite this unavoidable increase in the price we must charge. We believe this newspaper has never been better value.”