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West Leeds Dispatch opens new office and begins producing print editions

Independent local title The West Leeds Dispatch is to open a public-facing office for the first time, and begin producing print editions, after securing £112,000 from the National Lottery’s Community Fund.

West Leeds Dispatch opens new office and begins producing print editions

Editor John Baron hopes the money will also spur the Dispatch on to produce regular editions of the newspaper and generate other forms of revenue.

Baron, speaking to HTFP, said: "What we hope to do is get two or three (print runs) under our belts, start generating some revenue and hoping it will take off and become self-sustaining.

“The money we’ve got from the Lottery is seed money. We’re hoping by year three we’ll be doing this every couple of months, but we’ll see.”

The new office at Bramley Lawn Social Centre, which will be staffed by 50 volunteer reporters, is due to open later this month.

Baron said: “The office we’ve got will be exclusively ours to use as we see fit.

“I’d hope we’ll hold community reporter training there. It’ll be open in certain hours when I’m going to be there.

“Within the community newsroom we’re hoping to have an area where people can come, sit, chat and do interviews and it’s a space to use if [members of the public] have any stories.”

He added: “We’ve had members of the community come in to help with cleaning it and some have even made a couple of desks out of wood for us. It’s been a real community-led, bottom-up initiative.”

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