West Highland Free Press Bucks National Sales Trend

The UK’s only employee-owned newspaper has bucked the national trend among local, weekly newspapers by registering a sales increase during last year.

The West Highland Free Press – owned by the West Highland Publishing Company – was taken over by 10 of its employees in October.

While local, weekly newspapers have suffered, throughout the UK, falls in their average sales, the circulation at the WHFP rose by 0.3 per cent during the course of last year.

Says the Audit Bureau of Circulation – in its twice-yearly sales review of UK regional newspapers – the title sold an average of 8642 copies at the time of the auditing: December last year.

In June last year, its average circulation was 8519; and in December 2008, it was 8613.

The ABC figures were released last week.

The West Highland Publishing Company is one of a handful of one-title newspaper publishers in Scotland.

Elsewhere, the Stranraer & Wigtownshire Free Press registered an average sale in December last year of 7712, down 1.4 per cent on 12 months previously, from 7822.

The Orcadian registered an average sale in December last year of 9447, down 4.2 per cent on 12 months previously, from 9858.

The Shetland Times registered an average sale in December last year of 10,942, down 2.5 per cent on 12 months previously, from 11,218.