THE long-term future of the New Milton Advertiser and Lymington Times has been secured after they became part of a local-newspaper group.
The 90-year-old sister titles, which cover the New Forest and Christchurch, have been bought by a consortium made up of regional publishers Iliffe News and Media and father-and-son pair Peter and Rory Fowler.
Eddie Curry is the outgoing managing director who took over the running of the New Milton-based publication from his father Charles Curry MBE, who died aged 98 in 2019.
Eddie said: “For quite some time we have been considering what was the best for the staff and the titles in the long term.
“I am delighted that we can pass it over to Iliffe and the Fowlers, who I genuinely believe will give both the staff and the A&T the best opportunity for continuing to prosper in the future.
“I would like to thank the staff who have worked so loyally to produce the second best weekly newspaper in the country – second only to Iliffe’s Cambridge Independent in the national 2019 News Awards.”
Four generations of the Curry family have been involved in owning and running the papers which were launched as the New Milton Advertiser in 1930 by Frederick Curry, before it was joined by the Lymington Times in 1932.
The purchase of the A&T by Iliffe and the Fowlers is the fourth recent newspaper acquisition by the joint partnership, following the purchase of the Stratford Herald, Scottish Provincial Press and the Newbury Weekly News.
David Fordham is a non-executive director of Iliffe News and Media, and oversaw the acquisition.
He said: “We have long been admirers of the New Milton Advertiser and the Lymington Times. They are both wonderfully traditional newspapers that will fit well into the portfolio of titles published by Iliffe Media.”
James Gurney, managing director of Iliffe News and Media (Central Division), will oversee the New Milton publishing division.
The New Milton Advertiser was founded in 1928 and bought by Frederick Charles Townley Curry in 1930. Just two years later he launched sister title the Lymington Times.
Frederick’s son Charles Starr Curry joined the paper as a 16-year-old reporter in 1936 and took over as editor in 1966, upon the death of his father.
Charles remained at the helm until 2012 when, at the age of 91, his poor health no longer enabled him to continue.