Image (LtoR): New Sunday Independent proprietor Peter Masters, editor John Collings and managing director Colin Bradbury
The Sunday Independent – famous and award-winning for its in-depth comprehensive coverage of the sporting scene from Bristol to Penzance – will be back on West Country news stands this Sunday, April 23.
Well-known West Country businessman Peter Masters has stepped in to take over the 200-year-old title.
The newspaper closed two weeks ago not long after the sudden death of its previous owner, Brian Doel, cast a shadow over plans for the future.
But the news prompted an outcry on social media from people who said the title was a ‘Bible’ for sports fans. It’s the current England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) Regional Newspaper of the Year.
And now Peter has provided the backing to rescue the paper.
Peter, who is chairman and co-owner of National League club Truro City, said: ‘Like so many of our family of readers, I’ve read the Indy every Sunday all my life.
‘There was no way I could stand aside and let such a loved and respected part of the West Country sporting scene pass into history.’
Peter was born in Somerset and has extensive business interests across the region. Truro City is working with Truro and Penwith College and the Cornish Pirates on plans for a Stadium for Cornwall.
He said: ‘We have lots of plans for the Indy moving forward but our driving motivation is what it has always been – to back sport in the West Country from grass roots to the top level with unrivalled in-depth quality coverage.’
The news saves 17 jobs at the paper’s Liskeard, Cornwall, headquarters.
The paper’s new managing director, writer and photojournalist Colin Bradbury, said: ‘Our first and most important task will be to get the Indy that people love, complete with our existing team of writers and contributors, back in the shops this Sunday, April 23.’
The paper will be back on sale with a 20p price rise to £1.20.
Colin said: ‘We hope that given the challenges the paper has faced in recent weeks, people will understand the need for this small price rise – the first for nearly a decade – to keep the title alive.’
Editor John Collings, who has worked for the Indy since 1988, said: ‘We have been simply overwhelmed by the messages of love and affection for the paper and we thank everybody for their support.
‘This great news gives us a solid platform to continue and make the Indy even better.’