AddThis SmartLayers

Cash boost secures closure-threatened news title’s future

Meg Houghton gilmourA city news title that warned it may face closure says its future is looking “much more secure” after receiving a subscription boost.

HTFP reported last month how Bristol 24/7 had launched an appeal for support after revealing it would “not continue to exist” in its current form by the end of 2022 without an injection of cash.

The independent site set itself a target of increasing the number of paying supporters on its membership scheme from 750 to 1,000 by 14 March.

B24/7, which was founded in 2009 and employs 10 full-time staff, has now revealed it fell just 70 new subscribers short of the target by Monday’s deadline.

Speaking to HTFP on Monday, the sites’s community and memberships manager Meg Houghton Gilmour said the increase in new members had ensured its future was “looking far brighter”.

Meg, pictured, said: “We’re delighted that so many people in Bristol have responded to our ask for support and our community is now just shy of 1,000 supporter members.

“The outpouring of love we’ve had during the last month has been incredibly affirming and we are so grateful to our readers and to all members, old and new, for their kind words.

“Being so incredibly close to our target is exciting and we hope to reach 1,000 members by the end of the day but our future is looking far brighter and much more secure given the growth we’ve experienced.

“We can’t wait to focus on the plans we’ve made for this year and beyond knowing we have the backing of such a wonderful community.”

The appeal was launched after the title was placed in a “financially precarious position” after advertising revenue “dropped off entirely” during the coronavirus pandemic.

B24/7 members pay either £5 a month or £45 a year for benefits including deals, discounts, free gifts and competitions with local businesses in Bristol.

The site previously stated new income would allow it to employ more reporters “within communities most often forgotten about by the media” and pay transport costs for those it offers work experience placements for – two young people each week on average.