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Publisher of 15 weeklies announces purchase of three more titles

Stuart BirkettAn independent publisher which owns 15 weekly newspapers has announced it is taking over three more local titles.

Scottish Provincial Press will take on the Turriff Advertiser, Inverurie Advertiser and Ellon Advertiser from W Peters and Son Limited on 1 July.

Inverness-based SPP says the deal will safeguard the jobs of all editorial and sales staff currently working on the three Aberdeenshire-based titles, and has also pledged to give them an online presence for the first time.

The deal will take Inverness-based SPP’s portfolio of weeklies and bi-weeklies in the North and North East of Scotland to 18.

Its existing titles include the Inverness Courier, Highland News, Northern Scot, John O’Groats Journal, Caithness Courier, Huntly Express, North Star, Ross-shire Journal, Strathspey and Badenoch Herald, Northern Times, Banffshire Advertiser and Forres Gazette.

David George, managing director of W Peters & Son, said: “We are delighted to be able to pass on the Advertiser series to our friends at SPP.

“Their ability to invest in online news delivery and in advanced publishing systems will breathe new life into our beloved papers, helping secure their future, something that we were finding increasingly difficult to do in the digital era.

“Our core business is a really successful commercial printing organisation and this move allows us to fully focus on growing our business and delivering for our valued customers.”

SPP MD Stuart Birkett, pictured, added: “The Turriff, Inverurie and Ellon Advertisers are a great fit for SPP. They will quickly benefit from our recent investment in efficient publishing systems and, for the first time in their long history, the titles will soon have an online presence for their news.

“We are delighted to add them to our portfolio in Aberdeenshire and the North of Scotland and hope to continue to provide news, information and advertising services to the people and businesses in this corner of the north-east for many years to come.”

The page sizes of the three papers will be “slightly different” after printing is transferred to SPP’s printers.

The Turriff Advertiser was first established in 1933, while the other two titles were founded later.