The Newsquest weekly launched on September 21, last year, just three weeks after the town lost its daily title The Oldham Chronicle after 163 years of publishing.
To kick-start its future, the title is using its birthday to launch ‘Oldham’s Community Champions’, a campaign to shine a light on the town’s unsung heroes who work tirelessly to make the town a better place.
As well as launching a new campaign, the publication is producing a special 24-page supplement looking back at the highlights of its first year.
Editor Karl Holbrook, who took over in August, has also used the opportunity to introduce some new features and a revamped format, including a two-page special report, new-look justice page, two new lifestyle platforms, and an eight-page puzzles section and more focus on the title’s website, www.theoldhamtimes.co.uk.
“The Oldham Times is a fantastic paper,” Karl said. “And its success in such a short period of time goes to show just how important having a local paper fighting for its community still is.
“We are delighted to be celebrating this landmark anniversary both by looking back at some of our highlights but also by looking to the future with the launch of our new campaign and some fab new platforms designed to give the print and online products a fresh perspective.”
The ‘Oldham Community Champions’ campaign launches with four case studies, including a 12-year-old boy with serious health issues who has raised thousands of pounds for charity and a woman who travels the length and breadth of the country on a litter picking mission.
Readers will be encouraged to nominate their unsung heroes to feature in the campaign over the next 12 months.
The Oldham Times’ 24-page ‘A year in the life of the Times’ special supplement covers everything from the title’s exclusive interview with a young hero who was among the first on the scene after the Manchester Arena bombing and the launch of Oldham’s town centre masterplan to the devastating fires on the moors and Oldham Athletics’ dramatic relegation to League Two, say the publishers.
Content editor David Rigby, who has been at the title from the start, said: “It has been a massive first year for The Oldham Times, 52 editions which have seen us cover every aspect of everyday life in the borough.
“This anniversary edition will see us introduce new features and a revamped format, while retaining our core objective of bringing you the news, good, bad, funny or sad, from your area. I must personally give a huge thanks to our readers, contributors and advertisers for their unwavering support for our new paper.
“We had big shoes to fill with the demise of the Oldham Evening Chronicle, and look forward to an even more successful year as we strive to uphold the traditions of good, honest, and unbiased reporting.”
Leading figures from the town have also lined up with compliments and support for the paper ahead of its anniversary.
Oldham Council leader Sean Fielding said: “Great news and congratulations. May The Oldham Times remain for many more years.”
Oldham mayor Javid Iqbal said: “It’s been a fantastic 12 months for Oldham with so much news for a newspaper to cover.”
He added: “I hope this will be the first year of many for The Oldham Times.”
Shadow education secretary Angela Rayner, whose constituency includes Failsworth, hailed The Oldham Times as a “a vital source of information.”
The special 88-page anniversary edition is available on Thursday.