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Jobs created as city weekly launches with ex-daily editor’s help

Romail GulzarA new city weekly is set to launch with the creation of three new jobs after receiving help from a former regional daily editor

Independent publisher the Pukaar Group has announced the launch of the Leicester Times, which aims to showcase the city’s “diverse and vibrant population”.

The Times will first be published later this spring with an editorial launch team of three – an editor, a journalist and a part-time graphic designer.

Plans for the project have been aided by former Leicester Mercury editor George Oliver, who has acted as a freelance consultant to the Pukaar Group, but he will not be a staff member on the paper.

The Times will initially be published as a free title for the first six months, with a distribution of between 10,000 and 15,000, but after that the aim is to switch to a paid-for model, with a cover price of £2 per week.

Pukaar Group founder Romail Gulzar, pictured, told HTFP he was not setting out to compete with the Mercury.

Said Romail: “The Leicester Mercury and [its publisher] Reach plc are big but we’re not competing with them.

“We love our local newspaper but we’ve got a very different readership. [The Times is] not as much news, it’s more features. We’re bringing different kinds of stories.”

“We want to provide a platform for those inspiring individuals who deserve to be seen – and heard.

“We want to deliver real life stories that people care about, putting the heart back into news and providing a place for those voices to be heard.

“It’s something I’m very excited about and we have something very special planned for the launch which will be revealed in due course.

“We look forward to serving the community with stories in the very near future, and hope you will join us on this new and very exciting new venture.”

The Times will contain a mix of business news, planning news, crime and sport both in print and online.

The group already runs a quarterly title called Pukaar Magazine and online news platform Pukaar News, as well as organising events including ‘Leicester’s Got Talent’ and the Leicester Curry Awards.

George edited the Mercury between 2016 and 2020, and has since launched Loughborough-based public relations agency 1284.

Discussing his involvement in the project, Romail added: “I’m grateful to George for helping me and encouraging me.”