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Independent weekly ups print run by 1,000 copies due to demand

A weekly newspaper launched three years ago has expanded its print run by 1,000 copies due to soaring demand.

Your Local Paper, based in King’s Lynn, is now printing 23,000 copies each Friday after being told by distributors they were running out of copies every week.

The paper launched in March 2013 with an initial print run of 20,000, which has increased incrementally since.

Distributed in King’s Lynn, Downham Market and Hunstanton, the half-Berliner sized paper is available in supermarkets to newsagents across the area, as well as being given out to shoppers in town centres.

Friday's edition of Your Local Paper

Friday’s edition of Your Local Paper

Managing director Alan Taylor said: “We kept being told that our papers were being picked-up so fast that they were running out so we have added another 1,000 on the print run.

“It is great that we are so popular that outlets want more and Your Local Paper is now firmly established as the paper with the most readers in West Norfolk.

“We have had great support from the start and the hard work of the dedicated team of local staff mean we are growing all the time and will continue to do so.”

Having started out with an initial pagination of 48, the paper has since more than doubled that to around the 100 mark each week.

Editor Donna Semmens said: “There were plenty of people ready to consign print to history, but here we are getting bigger and better.

“We know our area, our readers and our office door is open from nine to five so people can call in. No other paper in King’s Lynn can offer that degree of service.

“The emphasis has always been on ‘local’ and readers certainly appreciate that we are in the heart of the town and know what makes West Norfolk tick.

“The way Your Local Paper has been accepted is brilliant and we are very appreciative of everyone who has supported what we are doing and look forward to a long and happy relationship.”

 

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  • April 18, 2016 at 7:11 am
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    All of these people are deluded and none of this is happening… It’s Digital First these days, just ask anyone at Trinity Mirror (well, obviously not those at The New Day). And what’s this madness about having an open door office in the heart of the town? Aren’t there any decent outlying business parks in this part of Norfolk? Honestly, some people…

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  • April 18, 2016 at 7:41 am
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    Congratulations to Alan and the team in west Norfolk in growing a newspaper based readership in an area previously of no interest to the( once) bigger player from Norwich ,who only showed interest in Kings Lynn/west of the county once YLP launched (no surprise there then)
    Proof once again that there is a future for hyper local newspapers concentrating on very local news and content worked by local people who know the areas ,not a change page or two and ad reps shipped in to smash and grab ad money when the first sign of a competitor emerges (or trying to ingratiate themselves on twitter with tweets about “our” west Norfolk) all this with managaebale overheads and doing the things the others have long since chosen to ignore.
    long may you remain truly indepenedant and flourishing

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  • April 18, 2016 at 8:08 am
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    Another example of a strong local paper flourishing in the face of a bigger player down the road, well done to the your local paper team in Kings Lynn,growing pagination and copy numbers at a time when other local print offerings are withering is a remarkable achievement, I just wonder how long they can remain independent before the ‘Norwich only’ publishers wave the cheque book and all the good work done in the last three years is undone,hopefully with support of the readers and local business community it won’t happen just yet.
    All good wishes for a healthy future Mssrs Taylor,semmens and co, long may you reign in West Norfolk

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  • April 18, 2016 at 9:05 am
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    Well done Alan, Donna and the team. Keep up the great work. You are proving it can be done if you have the knowledge, experience and dedication that you all have there.

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  • April 18, 2016 at 9:15 am
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    Great, a good news story start to a new week.
    Good luck Donna and team.

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  • April 18, 2016 at 9:37 am
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    Great news – a proper local paper doing really well. Funny that open doors, local staff and people who give a damn can make a real difference. Hats-off to everyone starting their own paper and take heart – there truly is a market out there.

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  • April 18, 2016 at 10:00 am
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    An april fools jest surely?
    increased copy numbers/circulation,more pages,loads of local adverts and in the face of a bigger operator,albeit one who thinks the world ends in a 2 mile radius of their HQ along the A47 surely not!
    you`ll be telling us good local journalism,local ad reps giving good customer care and being at the heart of the local community are things that matter next.

    Digital first,a clutch of yes men and more managers and paper pushers are surely whats needed to fall in line with the others i would say ms Semmens,come on YLP,sort it out!

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  • April 18, 2016 at 10:12 am
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    Ken is correct. The EDP’s coverage in west Norfolk/north Cambridgeshire is so poor that I gave up on it some time ago, having been a reader for many years. Your Local Paper should consider expanding to nearby towns where it would surely flourish.

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  • April 18, 2016 at 10:12 am
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    The most interesting thing about Your Local Paper is that it’s not doing anything particularly special. In truth a lot of it’s content is predictable and they don’t employ many reporters. But crucially, what they do, works.

    I don’t mean that as an insult: it just does what every paper always used to do as the bare minimum without being distracted by a confused digital policy or the latest whim of some bonus chasing exec.

    It goes to show that money can be made from giving people well-told, simply presented local stories. Whether it would work on a larger scale remains to be seen but it would at least be nice to see somebody give it a try.

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  • April 18, 2016 at 10:48 am
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    Congratulations to the team at Your Local Paper, one of a growing number of top quality publications doing well in Norfolk against staff heavy opposition in Norwich by majoring on quality content and staff and putting the customers,be they readers or advertisers first.
    Good to see local people supporting the paper and local businesses advertising with them too.
    A good news story to start the week and a thumbs up to those who believe hyper local independent publishing still has a future
    Nice one Alan Taylor and the team

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  • April 18, 2016 at 10:53 am
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    Johnners is correct: Your Local Paper needs a regional MD plus two deputies; area MD, plus admin and secretarial back-up; chief operating officer (COO); deputy COO: assistant to the deputy COO; circulation and revenue manager plus deputies and assistants; chief accountant plus numerate functionaries; and, most important of all, A Digital Transformation Director with a staff complement of at least 10 geeks. And it must relocate to a windswept, inaccessible business park at least four miles from King’s Lynn centre. How it has the nerve to call itself a local paper without doing any of that is beyond me.

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  • April 18, 2016 at 11:59 am
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    And a clean, distinctive, newsy front page which would put many a paid-for weekly to shame. What’s not to like?
    Wonder what their website’s like. Not that it matters, of course.

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  • April 18, 2016 at 12:06 pm
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    Oh no! High time this newspaper is taken over by someone like Newsquest and disbanded, with subbing units somewhere in the Isle of Wight or Tristan d’Cunha or at least in some Indian village. Then come up with some silly mantras like ‘web first’ and ‘difficult trading circumstances’ and the top management can update their Jags, Range Rovers and Rolls.

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  • April 18, 2016 at 12:16 pm
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    This is good to hear. I think having an office in town that is open to the public is absolutely crucial. I bet they don’t even get that many people popping in, but it’s the fact it’s there that encourages people to think that the paper is at the heart of the community. And this one clearly is. I’d come and work there myself if I lived closer.

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  • April 18, 2016 at 12:23 pm
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    The big house full of managers further down the A47 would do well to look at this simple business model to learn how to run a proper regional weekly and how to grow audiences in 2016 rather than consistently manage to lose them.
    With the dire state of the weekly titles in Norfolk its no wonder they’ve lost their audience to hyper local newspapers and top quality free magazines such as the ones being produced by independent publishers across the county.
    A business carrying tons of deadwood and with ‘the way ahead’ maps pointing in all different directions and seemingly changing every week is helping papers such as YLP thrive in an area not catered for or of interest to the main publisher there.lean business models coupled with knowledgeable staff operating in their own back yards is proving to be a winner,however when you look at the dire offering by the Norwich based lot these days it’s no great surprise
    If I was Alan Taylor I’d be planning my next launch in Norwich itself,there’s real opportunity to do so and many businesses waiting for an alternative medium to advertise in.
    Good news for a Monday and good luck to all concerned with YLP

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  • April 18, 2016 at 1:22 pm
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    With paid-for papers from JP NQ and their ilk no longer local and also so poor in quality free weeklies with locally-based staff are the way forward.
    My local free far outshines its local JP “rival” in writing quality, with even fewer staff and concentrates on local rather than padding out with regional news.

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  • April 18, 2016 at 1:33 pm
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    If your independent newspaper is as good as those of a century ago then you are onto a winner! That’s the formula, back to the future – all those local papers still peddling the 1980s Sun approach to journalism have had it!

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  • April 18, 2016 at 2:52 pm
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    Looks like YLP has both found and grown an audience in the west of the county and are being supported by local business people happy to have an effective alternate local medium to advertise in and thousands of local people eager to read it.

    All of this and no mention of level upon level of management structures or multi platform website,Twitter followers or Facebook ‘likes’ anywhere to be seen.

    Clear focus,simple objectives, print first and no distractions
    What’s that tell you?

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  • April 18, 2016 at 6:46 pm
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    Yet more proof that the digital first regionals are over priced and over the hill. We need to hold up these successful small publishers as the future despite the regional press’s sniffy attitude to hyperlocal. The regional press is in no man’s land… neither well done nor relevant. .. and pricey to boot. I live in a big city but I can hardly think of anyone who buys the ‘evening’.

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  • April 19, 2016 at 8:15 am
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    A good news piece and time Norfolk had a good quality independent free paper, you should launch editions in Norwich and Great Yarmouth too Mr Taylor,maybe via a franchise?
    Just needs good local journos and commercial people who know the area to work them as the audience in readers and advertisers are there already and crying out for an alternative to the ad stuffed free sheets currently doing the rounds.
    A network of well produced free papers serving hyper local areas unburdened by high staff numbers and excessive levels of management could very well rewrite the regional news paper map in this country and could be the kick start local publishing needs.

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  • April 19, 2016 at 9:03 am
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    We are really pleased that our paper has received such positive comments on HTFP. It’s been an incredibly busy but rewarding three years here at YLP but we are very proud of our achievement. As to more launches and a franchise – well, watch this space. Thanks again for all your support – it’s quite something from a bunch of cynical hacks!

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  • April 19, 2016 at 12:25 pm
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    only cynical when its deserved or when i /we can smell BS donna : )
    well done again on growing your busienss so well in a declining market
    ( for some!)

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  • April 19, 2016 at 1:57 pm
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    I totally agree with Pinkertons comments
    if the bigger regional groups are lumbered with excess staff,processes that are slow and costly,managers outnumbering “workers” ( i wonder how many managers YLP has?),lack of any investment (interest?) in news print publication and who have lost touch with their core markets and areas as evidenced by ongoing falling copy sales, then a well planned structure of new hyper local weekly newspapers jigsawing together across counties or regions,run by experienced local journalits and ad people is a vaiable proposition for budding entrepreneurs using the Your Local Press business model.

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  • April 19, 2016 at 10:52 pm
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    Some of the commenters here need to look a little deeper.
    It’s great that YLP are increasing their print run but according to their most recent accounts to March 2015 they’re not making a profit.
    In fact, the company lost £9k over the year and was insolvent to the tune of some £85k and appears to being personally propped up by Alan Taylor with his parent company loaning it £125k.
    Obviously there are setup costs and just two years in you might expect to still have to build an advertiser base and prove your worth, but it’s a bit too soon to be championing them as some ‘back to the future’ success story.

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  • April 20, 2016 at 5:19 am
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    This seems to be the way to go. I work for one of the country’s few remaining “heritage” independents (family owned and run since 18-something) and our circulation’s held up very healthily over the past decade. We still do all the “village pump” news – stories outsiders might deride as parochial, but which actually reflect the daily realities of life in our patch. A far cry from the former Local World title I used to work at, where we were chained to desks in a windowless office as resources were slowly whittled to nothing. If there’s any future for local journalism, and sadly there are days when I can’t help but have doubts, it’s in ventures like these new “hyperlocals”.

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  • April 20, 2016 at 8:59 am
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    Scoop – we have a long-term business plan and are well ahead of the game. We have all taken a salary and paid our bills. We don’t owe the banks a penny and the future is bright. Thanks for checking the accounts though. I like thorough.

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  • April 20, 2016 at 9:53 am
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    Oh how clever to be negative ‘Scoop’. I wonder where you work?
    Our accounts are on companies house for all to see, we have nothing to hide. Come back to us when year three accounts have been published if you are that interested in what we are doing and then have a say.
    Anybody who runs a business or knows how too, or knows what they are talking about would understand. Personally ‘propped up’. Oh dear, how wrong can somebody be.
    We are all rightly proud to be the market leader and still growing, all the congratulations and words of good luck are worthy and appreciated. Speak to the readers, contributors and advertisers?
    Any questions on how it is done and the secret of our success, call us direct or hide here?

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  • April 20, 2016 at 1:23 pm
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    @alantaylor I think we can all hazard a guess at where old @scoop works !

    The many positive comments and rightful plaudits on here seem to have hit a nerve and someone else’s success is obviously proving an embarrassing and bitter pill to swallow.
    Looking at recent copies of YLP its apparent you have ‘built your advertiser base’ and have already ‘proven your worth’ to the people and business communities in west Norfolk so that’s two little points old scoop needn’t have concerned himself with, you’d just think he had better things to spend his time investigating wouldn’t you?

    Well done on your clear and obvious success in west Norfolk YLP negative sniping is always a sign you’re making waves.

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  • April 20, 2016 at 2:13 pm
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    Oh dear mister Taylor, your considerable success in growing Your Local Paper in west Norfolk and building both readers and advertisers appears to have rattled “scoop” as he has taken time out of his otherwise busy day to trawl through your accounts to try to come up with a sensational “scoop” in an attempt to take the gloss off your papers success,buy why?

    Jealousy? Bitterness? Too much time on their hands? Probably a bit of all three.
    However at least I’ve won a bet that after so many pats on the back on HTFP yesterday someone would pop up on here with a negative, small minded comment,so for that reason I’d like to offer scoop my thanks

    Thanks !

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  • April 20, 2016 at 6:14 pm
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    Goodness me, someone’s worried or concerned enough to delve into company records to find out about the finances of YLP aren’t they @scoop?!

    May I suggest looking elsewhere if you’re interested in real issues such as record all time low sales,demoralised staff, top heavy management structure and propping up under performing parts of the business to the tune of hundreds of thousands of pounds if you’re really looking for a scoop,now there IS an investigation for you.

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  • April 20, 2016 at 8:04 pm
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    Stick to the day job “scoop” ( ironic name) as it’s clear investigation work isn’t your thing and investigative journalism is an alien concept to you if that’s the best you could come up with in your desperate attempt to belittle a genuine success story of a newspaper growing its audience and succeeding in a county starved of decent weekly ( and daily) papers

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  • April 21, 2016 at 11:16 am
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    Congrats to the team at YOUR LOCAL PAPER,good to read a success story around a little independent thriving in the face of bigger competitors,just shows what you can achieve with clear vision,good local knowledge and contacts and good old fashioned service,putting people before profit.
    Give people what they want and the money will always follow.
    Good luck to all who are blazing a trail with quality local weeklies such as this one.

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  • April 21, 2016 at 9:59 pm
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    I’m not trying to belittle anyone, just pointing out that it’s much easier to put out thousands of copies of a free paper and run up debts than it is to turn a profit doing it.
    Anyone who read my comment with a little care will have seen I acknowledged it’s early days and that it’s not unusual for start ups to make losses initially. If profits are around the corner, that’s great.
    Too many of the comments on here though are too busy carping about the rush to digital to see either the irony of complaining on a website or that the traditional print model is broken when a £150 targeted advert on Facebook can get to a better audience far quicker than a print ad priced at several times that.
    I’m glad that YLP saw off the petty attempts by Archant to try to kill it through its own spoiler weekly and the short-lived editioning of the EDP, but I’m not naïve enough to swallow the PR without digging a little.
    Companies House filings are free to view online so it’s hardly difficult to be informed – it’s the work of minutes to find the info. Depressing that those who claim themselves to be journalists are so incurious as to not take that very slight trouble.

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  • April 22, 2016 at 12:05 pm
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    @scoop
    Or you could join in wishing the YLP team all the very best on their continued success and move on without trying to find an angle, or ‘sniping’ as its better known.

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