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Blog Preston is a Community Interest Company that seeks to provide community news and information about the city of Preston, Lancashire.

We launched in January 2009, and since then have grown to have a readership nearly 200,000 unique users a month and the website is viewed more than 800,000 times per month (April 2020).

A Community Interest Company means the money made from advertising goes back into reporting on goings-on in the city, from the latest breaking news, to politics, to new openings, community initiatives and charity campaigns – we seek to reflect all that goes on in the city.

On this page you’ll find more about what we stand for, the history of Blog Preston, who runs it and plenty more.

Who runs it?

Kate Rosindale, Director and co-editor

Kate is a proud Yorkshire woman who conversely also happens to love the city of Preston. She first came here to study Journalism at UCLan in 2001 to 2004, and returned to live in the city in 2012. Kate works in IT for a global insurance company, and writes for Blog Preston in her spare time. Although genetically a Leeds fan, Kate has adopted PNE and has a season ticket in the Town End. She enjoys contributing to the community through her writing, plus her volunteering roles for Preston Cats Protection and Age Concern Central Lancashire. You can follow Kate on Instagram @katerosebud or write to kate@blogpreston.co.uk. See all of Kate’s articles here.

Rachel Smith, Director and co-editor

Rachel is an NCTJ qualified journalist, spent 14 years working in local news before going freelance in 2015. She now writes for local and national press and has been writing for Blog Preston since October 2015. You can contact Rachel on rachel@blogpreston.co.uk. See all of Rachel’s articles here.

Ed Walker, Founder & Non-executive director
Ed started Blog Preston on 11 January 2009 and spent a decade reporting on the city before hanging up his keyboard and pen in summer 2019. Ed holds a non-executive role for Blog Preston CIC and has taken a back seat. He graduated from the University of Central Lancashire with a first-class honours degree in Journalism in 2007 and is now a leader in residence for the university’s journalism department. In the day job then is Audience and Content Director (Regionals) for Reach Plc, the largest multimedia publishing group in the UK. He lives in Fulwood with his wife and daughter. You can follow him on Twitter @ed_walker86. His email is ed@blogpreston.co.uk. See all Ed’s articles on Blog Preston.

Our social media

We have a large and very engaged following on social media. We were one of the first Preston organisations to really embrace Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

On Facebook, on Blog Preston, there are nearly 80,000 people who like and follow our page and there are forthright discussions in the comments section. As well as the Facebook page we have established and helped to establish some very vibrant Facebook groups in the city. These are:

Preston, Lancashire traffic and travel
What’s On In Preston Support Community
Fulwood, Preston news and views
Penwortham news and views
Running in and around Preston

On Twitter, we are a verified account, providing the latest news, information and playing an active role in the digital community in the city. We’re @blogpreston and you can follow us there.

On Instagram we both take and regram pictures about the city and we’re fast approaching 10,000 followers as we share pictures from in and around Preston, follow us at blog.preston. We have some fantastic contributors who like to share their pictures with us, many of which we then share on our account and also on Facebook and Twitter.

A history of Blog Preston and key events

11 January 2009 – Blog Preston was established as a WordPress blog, promising to report on the goings on in the city. It was set up by Ed Walker, who is now audience and content director for Reach PLC’s regionals division, the UK’s largest multimedia publishing group. Ed remains as a non-executive director of Blog Preston.

May 2012 – Part of the blog’s aim is to have a small community fund we’re able to use to help make things happen in the city, we used this to help Bernie Blackburn put on the Preston Now & Then exhibition. Bernie took nostalgic photos of the city and traced them to where they are now.  You can see all our coverage here.

23 September 2013 – Preston Bus Station has been one of the most covered subjects by us over the years, we’ve even got a whole section dedicated to the building. We were one of the first news outlets to reveal the city’s controversial bus station had been granted listed status, essentially preserving it from demolition.

6 June 2014 – We broke the story of 53 Degrees, the university’s music venue, being earmarked for closure. There were repeated attempts to save it but it is now a conference and events space for the university.

24 August 2014 – The city was in shock as Jonjo Highton was stabbed on his doorstep in Deepdale by a gang of men, we provided extensive coverage of the murder. You can see all our coverage here.

Autumn 2016 – Blog Preston launched a community newspaper for the city, it ran for four issues and was distributed free across the city with a print run of 10,000 copies. Sadly it was unsustainable and we mothballed it after four editions.

November 2019 – Blog Preston played a key role in helping to organise the Big PNE Sleep Out in aid of The Foxton Centre, in conjunction with Preston North End’s Community Trust and Biffa. More than 300 people bedded down at Deepdale for the night on Friday 15 November and raised nearly £100,000 in sponsorship – smashing the target of £50,000. The money goes towards the Foxton’s Housing First initiative and goes to buying an empty property in the city which can be done up and converted for use as a place for rough sleepers to have a roof over their heads.

November 2020 – We revealed the Big PNE Sleep Out’s funds had been able to purchase a house in Ashton-on-Ribble for The Foxton Centre’s Housing First initiative.

What is a Community Interest Company?

A Community Interest Company is half-way between a private limited company and a charity. This means Blog Preston can trade, so we allow adverts to be taken and this funds our journalism. And we have to stick to the core aims outlined when we became a Community Interest Company in January 2014. These are:

  • To report and create online content about the city of Preston to be published via www.blogpreston.co.uk and its associated social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr and any others which it chooses to use)
  • To involve community contributors across the city to produce content about their local area which may be of interest to their community or the wider community of the city of Preston
  • To work with other community organisations, for example a community radio station or the local university, to report on community events and news
  • To establish a Blog Preston community fund which can help fund community events or projects across the city, such as the sponsoring of a new exhibition about Preston’s history, a community fun day or any other number of worthwhile community initiatives

Contributors:

Charlotte Everett

Charlotte Everett, reporter
Charlotte writes for Blog Preston alongside her studies at UCLan. She is a third-year journalism student and when she isn’t in Preston, she is enjoying her time home in The Lakes. You can follow Charlotte on Twitter @charleverett4. Her email is
charlotte.everett@blogpreston.co.uk

Abigail Donoghue, community content curator
Abi graduated from UCLan with a degree in journalism in 2017. She has been a reporter for a couple of places in the North West since joining Reach Plc in 2018 and is very happy to be helping out on Blog Preston, in partnership with InYourArea, covering the city where it all began for her!

Paul MellingPaul Melling, Photographer
Paul is a talented local photographer who often takes stunning images for the site and covers events. He works locally but also does freelance photography in his spare time. One of his big contributions is the Preston in the Picture series of desktop wallpapers, giving readers an iconic image for their desktop every month. You can see his work on Flickr and follow him on Twitter @pjmimages. See all Paul Melling’s articles here.

lisa-mcmanus-new120
Lisa Brown, Writer and Photographer
Lisa is a local writer with a keen interest in the arts, nature and travel. She has been writing for Blog Preston since 2010 and has had work published in national and local publications. Lisa regularly uploads photography to her Facebook and Instagram pages. See all Lisa’s articles here.

Charlotte BrockbankCharlotte Brockbank, Advertising and Marketing
Charlotte looks after all the advertising on Blog Preston, working with local businesses to help them reach our audience of Prestonians. She works for a local company doing their marketing across the North West. She’s Preston born and bred. You can email her charlotte@blogpreston.co.uk

James DuffellJames Duffell, Designer and coder
The man who makes the site work, James is the technical whizz behind Blog Preston. He is also a founder of Preston-based web agency 3ManFactory. You can follow him on Twitter @jamesduffell.

Commenting on the site

We allow comments on Blog Preston and we want the site to act as a voice for the city and a place for local people to have their say about the city and issues relating to it. Before you start commenting we recommend reading our community guidelines.

Disclaimer

All views on this blog are those of the authors. If reviews appear they are done off people’s own back, no money or ‘gifts in kind’ take place in return for a favourable review.

All banner images are credited to Tony Worrall

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