An editor made redundant last year is to launch a new independent weekly on his old patch in a move which has seen the creation of seven new jobs.
Iliffe Media has continued its expansion by founding the Bishop’s Stortford Independent, which goes on sale for the first time tomorrow.
The new title will be edited by Paul Winspear, who edited the Herts & Essex Observer for ten years before being made redundant in July 2016 – a month before publisher Trinity Mirror closed the newspaper’s Bishop’s Stortford office.
Paul is joined at the Independent by former Observer news editor Sinead Holland, who was made redundant at the same time as him.
Ex-Observer photographer Vikki Lince has also joined the team along with two commercial colleagues who previously worked at the paper, while reporter Cat Barkley completes the Independent’s initial editorial team.
A total of six full-time and one freelance role have been created by the launch.
Staff at the Bishop’s Stortford Independent will be based at an office on North Street in the Hertfordshire town, while it will be printed at Iliffe’s Cambridge Print Centre.
The paper, which will be a sister title to the award-winning Cambridge Independent, has an initial cover price of 80p.
Paul, 54, had spent 33 years in journalism prior to his redundancy last year which also saw Harlow Star editor Ken Morley depart his role.
Paul said of his new role: “The community’s response, in terms of messages and gestures of support and goodwill, to our announcement on social media about our launch has been phenomenal.”
The launch marks the latest stage in Iliffe’s expansion plans following the launch of the Cambridge Independent last summer and its subsequent purchase of 14 Johnston Press titles in East Anglia and the takeover of the KM Group in April.
Ricky Allan, regional managing director for Iliffe Media, said: “This is a proud moment for Iliffe Media and the Iliffe family.
“The growth and investment we have made in the past year, with the acquisition of 14 former Johnston Press titles, along with the addition of the Kent Messenger group, underlines the Iliffe belief that delivering high-quality, relevant, trustworthy and entertaining local news will receive the support of the community it serves.”