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Weekly to shut after 151 years following pandemic ‘difficulties’

A weekly newspaper is set to close after 151 years in business following “commercial difficulties” during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Banbridge Chronicle has announced it will cease publication at the end of this month “unless other arrangements can be made”.

The paper, based in County Down, is owned by the Hodgett family, who also run the Newry Reporter.

Both titles had publication suspended for part of last year due to the pandemic.

Banbridge Chronicle

According to the Belfast Telegraph, around 30 staff in commercial and editorial departments at the company were furloughed at the time.

HTFP has approached the Chronicle to ask how many editorial staff are affected by the planned closure, and whether the company is actively seeking a buyer for the paper.

A statement on the Chronicle’s Facebook page said: “It is with the utmost regret that the Banbridge Chronicle has to announce that after 151 years serving our local community, the end is in sight.

“On foot of gradually declining trading conditions in print media for the past number of years, and a perfect storm of such commercial difficulties during the Covid-19 pandemic, the newspaper is unable to continue and will publish its last edition at the end of October, unless other arrangements can be made.

“Our immense gratitude to our wonderful staff, present and past, readers, advertisers, contributors and suppliers is undiminished.”

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