Sussex Newspapers is getting behind a new campaign designed to give business a boost.
HAVING gained more than five decades of media experience, Sir Ray Tindle has a firm belief in local papers’ place at the heart of our communities.
So it is little surprise the media veteran is backing the Newspaper Society’s £15million drive to provide vital support to regional businesses and demonstrate the strength and value that regional papers represent.
The 85-year-old independent proprietor has donated £250,000 towards the Local Business Accelerators (LBA) campaign which as just been launched.
As part of the scheme, the Eastbourne Herald and Gazette series and the Hastings, Bexhill, Battle and Rye Observer series is asking for your views on which emerging firm – between one and three years old – in our area is deserving of being supported with a three-month advertising campaign.
The winner will receive mentoring from established entrepreneurs from our area.
They will also be put forward to win the chance to gain tips and to receive advice from Dragons’ Den star, Deborah Meaden.
The scheme is supported by the Herald, Gazette and Observer’s parent group Sussex Newspapers and brings together more than 450 papers from across the UK to inject a combined total of millions in advertising behind the initiative.
Welcoming the campaign, Sir Ray, who is based at his papers’ headquarters in Farnham, Surrey, said, “I thought that giving £250,000 would be the best way to bring papers more to the attention of the public and I am fully supporting the Newspaper Society’s LBA campaign.
“It’s about the press stopping for a moment and thinking about itself – we are always doing things in isolation in our areas, but here is a chance to do something together.
“We are going through a very deep recession, probably the worst in many people’s memories.
“Because of this, as a country we need to launch new enterprises that will help those out of work.
“The LBA aims to encourage enterprise through developing businesses.”
Sir Ray said the ground-breaking initiative echoed his own efforts to support regional business which has included creating Tindle Enterprise Centres.
Sir Ray’s personal response to the present economic climate has been a bold strategy of launching new titles.
While he conceded this has not been without its problems, he is confident the future for regional papers can be a bright one.
His determined outlook has been instilled with the fighting spirit he developed in producing a war-time newsletter during the 1940s.
After returning to civilian life, he began with a small newspaper title in Tooting, Surrey.
This was to gradually expand into a stable of more than 200 weekly titles across England and Wales, which now have a combined turnover of more than £50million.
He added, “I would say companies such as Sussex Newspapers are among the finest in the country and I believe we have the best press in the world.
“Many local titles are at least 100 years old are part of their towns and always have been.
“I’ve been through the coming of local commercial radio, local TV and free newspapers in the 80s and the arrival of the internet.
“While the latter is a wonderful innovation, I don’t think it will endanger the printed press.
“Local papers will be required as they always have been. I’ve experienced several recessions myself and have come out stronger.
“I could never retire as being in newspapers is such a wonderful life.”
• More than 450 papers around the country are taking part in the Local Business Accelerators (LBA) initiative.
• It is open to emerging businesses formed between one and three years ago.
• The selected business will receive mentoring tips and advice from established entrepreneurs within our area. They will then be put forward for the chance to be mentored by Dragons’ Den star Deborah Meaden.
She said, “I’ve seen the unique contribution that local press makes to the success of local businesses time and again with my own ventures. In this age of enterprise it has never been more important to drive awareness about the value of local marketing for a fledgling business, which is why I’m so proud to support Local Business Accelerators and help build thriving and industrious communities.”
• Entries to LBA are open between now and November 14. To nominate a business, use the following Newspaper Society link – www.newspapersoc.org.uk/accelerate-me
• Entries will be judged independently and results revealed in December.