A new weekly newspaper praised its main competitor as it hit the streets for the first time this week.
The Times of Tunbridge Wells published its inaugural issue as 30,000 copies were made available from more than 150 outlets across the town, as well as being handed out by teams of hawkers.
An online edition of the freesheet has also launched, with the first front page carrying news that the Times has launched a ‘Dragons’ Den’ style £5m fund to boost local businesses.
Page two of the 72-page paper featured a comment piece from editorial director Richard Moore entitled ‘What’s the point of another local paper?’, in which he gave credit to the town’s existing Kent and Sussex Courier title.
He wrote: “We truly believe that there’s a place in Tunbridge Wells for an alternative voice, a quality weekly newspaper that comes free with relevant local news and features. One that is different.
“That’s not to say we don’t think the existing newspaper in the town, the Kent and Sussex Courier, is not doing a good job.
“It certainly is and we admire and respect the role it plays.
“We just happened to think there’s room for another printed media platform. One that is different.”
Richard added he believed the Times’s editorial policy of carrying national and international news would make it different.
Speaking after the release, Richard added: “We have identified a niche in the market and believe the new title will be well received.
“We have been extremely encouraged by market reaction so far. The newspaper has already generated 30 per cent of its targeted annual income.”
According to last week’s ABC figures, the Local World-owned Kent and Sussex Courier currently sells 20,754 copies weekly.