Firstly, I hope you and your family enjoy a very merry Christmas and a happy and successful 2017.
2016 has been another challenging year for local newspapers as the UK economy recovers slowly and large sections of advertising move to websites and social media.
Many local newspapers across the country have been forced to close as a result, including some here in Berkshire.
This year we have also seen big increases in the cost of all the materials we use to publish our newspapers – notably newsprint, which increased in price by 11 per cent this year and is increasing again by the same amount in January.
I am sure all your household bills have also risen this year.
Over the past few years we have tackled this challenge by reducing our cost base without affecting the quality of the newspaper.
But that cannot continue forever and we have now had to review the cover price of the Newbury Weekly News in the light of these increased costs.
So, from next week, the price of the Newbury Weekly News will rise by 20p to £1.
This is not a decision we have taken lightly. We realise this will have a significant impact on some of our readers, but we firmly believe the paper still represents excellent value for money.
It’s still less than the cost of a cheeseburger or cup of coffee.
The people of West Berkshire and North Hampshire are fortunate to have such a strong local newspaper as the Newbury Weekly News, which next year will celebrate its 150th anniversary.
Local newspapers play a vital role in keeping people informed about the place where they live, strengthening local democracy and celebrating all the good things about the area that they cover.
Our professional, experienced and highly-trained journalists produce well-researched news and local information that you can rely on and trust. So many other modern ‘news sources’ do not.
The Newbury Weekly News has been championing our local community since 1867 and we want to still be doing so for generations to come.
The cover price rise will help us to do that.
Our readers are vital to the future of this newspaper and are its lifeblood.
We need your support amid a difficult economic landscape so that we can continue to provide you with valuable news, what’s on, sport and a comprehensive range of local information.
If anybody would like to discuss the cover price rise with me, or any other aspect of the Newbury Weekly News, I will be available to speak to on the telephone on Friday, December 23, from 10am to 1pm when you can call me on (01635) 564525.
Or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you once again for your ongoing loyalty and support – everyone at the Newbury Weekly News appreciates it very much.