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Jobs at risk as news title prepares to shut after 18 months

Gavin ThompsonA news title is set to close 18 months after its launch placing jobs at risk as a result.

Newsquest website The National Wales is consulting over plans to shut down, citing competition from free news outlets for the decision.

Managing editor Gavin Thompson, pictured, has confirmed a “small number of roles” are at risk as a result of the proposal.

Reach plc site Wales Online has reported two dedicated members of staff have been warned they are not legally entitled to redundancy payments because they have not been employed for at least two years.

The proposed move comes after the weekly print edition of The National Wales ceased regular publication in November last year.

In a statement, Gavin told Wales Online: “Newsquest is consulting on the proposed closure of The National Wales.

“Despite the best efforts and dedication of the team competition from free news outlets including BBC Wales online means The National Wales has not been able to grow its paying subscriber base to a sustainable level.

“A small number of roles are at risk as a result of this proposal and we are consulting with staff affected in an effort to minimise potential redundancies.”

It is understood that the website may close as early as next week.

Newsquest launched The National Wales on St David’s Day 2021 as a primarily digital-driven news service for Wales.

A weekly edition followed a month later, creating four jobs in the process, after sales of two special print editions “exceeded expectations”.

Following the paper’s closure, Gavin, who also edits the South Wales Argusshared his ambition for journalists at the title to be funded solely by digital subscriptions.

Other outlets covering the whole of Wales include Wales Online and the BBC, as well as independent titles Nation. Cymru and Herald Wales.