Historic newspaper placed into administration by directors

Cumberland Herald

One of the oldest independent newspapers in the country has been forced into administration casting doubt over its long-term future.

The Cumberland & Westmorland Herald, which was first printed 160 years ago, was put into administration by its owners.

The slump in the regional media coupled with a hole in the newspaper’s pension scheme forced the hands of the directors.

Howard Smith and David Costley-Wood from KPMG’s restructuring practice have today been appointed joint administrators to the Cumberland & Westmorland Herald newspaper by its directors.

Established in 1860, the Herald is an independent weekly broadsheet newspaper covering a large area of East Cumbria, including the towns of Penrith, Appleby, Kirkby Stephen, Keswick & Alston.

The paper employs 26 members of staff from its base in Penrith.

Six members of staff were made redundant following the appointment of the joint administrators.

Howard Smith, associate partner at KPMG and joint administrator, said: “The Herald has been a cornerstone of the community in East Cumbria for over a hundred years.

“Unfortunately, however, an increasing deficit in the company’s defined benefits pension scheme, in addition to the longstanding pressures facing the regional print media industry were behind the directors’ difficult decision to place the company into administration.

“Our intention is to continue to trade the business for a short period while we explore options for a possible sale.

“During this time, we anticipate that two editions of the newspaper will be published under the direction of the editor.”