15 Sep 2016
Your Maryport Magazine: first edition has gone to the printers!
Over the last couple of years I have had the pleasure of working with the Ewanrigg Local Trust, assisting with a series of community engagement projects in Maryport, West Cumbria. The group is tasked with managing a £1million Big Local grant that hopes to improve the quality of life for people living on the Ewanrigg estate over a ten year period, focusing on sustainable projects that will deliver long term changes and lasting results. All projects are community led and address particular issues faced by residents in the area, providing opportunities to build self-confidence, raise aspiration, increase social inclusion, decrease crime and improve health and well-being. For more information on the ELT please visit www.ewanrigg.com
A common theme that seems to crop up again and again in the area is that there are lots of services that people can access – but people don’t know about them. Organisations are delivering projects with small budgets and limited resource and it is tough to get the message out to the necessary audiences over a long period of time. Many of the people that need the services are vulnerable, making it even more difficult to find a sustainable way of communicating and enabling them to access help at an appropriate time.
One of the suggestions that came out of the consultation was the need for a community magazine that could celebrate the achievements of local people, as well as signpost services on a regular basis. Not everyone has access to the internet and although a digital platform would be cheaper, it was felt that more could be achieved through the creation of a physical magazine that could be held in the hand, shared together and have a longer shelf life. The local paper is a great resource but their priority is news. Space is tight and competition is high. The community felt that it needed something at a more grass roots level and so I have been working with them to develop a new publication. I have spent several months researching other models in the area to see how they work and after extensive consultation with residents, have created a practical model that we hope will meet community aims.
The first edition will be called Your Maryport and we are giving readers the chance to name it through a competition in edition 1. The magazine will be a not for profit publication and it is hoped that the advertising will (in time) cover printing and delivery costs. For the first few editions, production costs will be funded by the ELT until a more sustainable model can be achieved. The magazine will be quarterly, have 16 pages and will be produced in full colour. It will have a range of different affordable advertising options, with specific rates aimed at supporting small businesses and sole traders. It will have a print run of 8,000, be FREE and delivered door to door to all households in Maryport and the surrounding villages. The remaining magazines will be delivered to schools and community pick up points. We have created a strategic framework for each edition which includes platforms for health, education, nostalgia, lifestyle and advertising - but specific content will be determined by what people contribute and request. The magazine will focus on the achievements of local residents and all the great things happening in Maryport and the surrounding areas. The magazine will evolve and change to meet the needs of its readers. There will be plenty of opportunities for interaction and engagement.
It’s been a fascinating project so far and I’ve drawn upon past experience working in an international publishing company (Lonely Planet) and a regional newspaper (The Journal, ncjMedia) – as well as many other marketing and promotional roles held over the years.
I have been project managing the process and will take on the role of editor for the first few editions. I have been working with local design company DSG Design on the page planning, advertising and layouts – so far we’ve made a great team! It’s tough to not get carried away and produce the magazine we want, rather than following the brief but we’ve managed to rein it in and we feel we’ve made a great pilot edition that will develop and grow as people become aware of its potential.
The first edition which runs from September – November has gone to the printers this week! Watch this space.
The next edition will be due out in December. If you would like to place any content, would like a mediapack (including ad rates) or would like to hear more about the project please contact me on [email protected]