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New paper launched for patch which lost weekly last year

A community newspaper publisher is set to launch a third title in an area which lost a weekly paper last year.

Social Spider Community Interest Company has announced the foundation of the Enfield Dispatch, which will come out for the first time on 1 October.

Social Spider currently publishes two other newspapers in North-East London – the Waltham Forest Echo, established in 2014, and the Tottenham Community Press, established in 2016.

The Dispatch will be edited by Echo editor James Cracknell, who lives in Enfield and will add the title to his current responsibilities.

Enfield Dispatch

The monthly title will be available to pick up for free in cafes, pubs, doctors’ surgeries, libraries, community centres, hair salons, places of worship and outside railway stations.

It will include news, features about community projects and campaigns, comment and opinion pieces and previews of local events.

The launch comes just over a year since the sudden closure of the 143-year-old weekly paper Enfield Gazette & Advertiser.

James, who has edited the Echo since 2015, said: “This is very exciting news for Enfield. In a time of decline for so many local newspapers around the country, I am delighted that Social Spider CIC is continuing to show its support for the industry by opening its third publication in north-east London.

“I was shocked when the long-running local paper Enfield Gazette & Advertiser was suddenly closed last year. I previously worked as a freelance reporter for the Advertiser and felt that its closure left a big hole to fill.

“Local papers play a fundamental role in their communities, as a platform for people to raise concerns, promote events and projects, and hold authority to account. I hope that Enfield Dispatch will help fulfil this role in Enfield and I would urge local people to show their support for community media and get behind it.”

To help fund the production cost of the first edition of the Dispatch, people and organisations in Enfield are being asked to support the launch by making a donation of £50, £100 or £200, and become ‘founding members’.

Everyone who contributes will be celebrated in the first edition.

Social Spider director David Floyd said: “These are challenging times for local news with many newspapers closing and advertising revenue in decline, but our social enterprise model offers a new approach to creating sustainable publications which are responsive to and reflective of the communities they serve.”

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