We have published the Downs Mail since 1997, a free newspaper for the people of Maidstone and Malling, and more recently launched the popular online Daily Downs Mail www.downsmail.co.uk for breaking news.
Downs Mail is a trusted, loved and respected community-based newspaper. However, COVID still has a severe impact on our advertisers. Many are small businesses, like us, and this has currently substantially reduced our key source of income - advertising revenue.
In addition to reduced revenues, the cost of the paper we are printed on has risen sharply with two price rises this year with another steep increase due in January.
As a small family-run business, we have had to dig deep into limited reserves as Government grants and support for our publishing sector were restricted, barely covering running costs for the first month of lockdown.
To enable us to continue to provide good, quality journalism and for the newspapers and website to remain free of charge we are asking for your help, by making a donation so Downs Mail remains a community asset and still FREE to all.
Why Is the Downs Mail important?
- We keep communities informed of decisions made at every level of government, from parish to parliament;
- We encourage a sense of community belonging;
- It’s a reliable and trusted source of information;
- The paper promotes local causes and backs businesses;
- We listen to readers with problems and find ways to help.
What makes the Downs Mail unique?
- Campaigning for local causes – we ran the campaign to stop the threatened council closure of the Hazlitt Theatre and played a vital part in getting Jade’s Crossing built at Detling;
- Community based – promoting local groups and their fundraising events – from bell ringers to Boy Scouts;
- Informative – breaking exclusive stories which affect people’s lives and would have otherwise remained in the dark – for instance Lenham Heath garden village and the huge revised Maidstone Local Plan proposals;
- FREE to read in print and on-line – making local news accessible across the whole community.
How is the money being spent
With your support, we can keep producing, printing and distributing the printed version of the newspaper for free. It costs more than £55,000 annually just to print the Downs Mail and distribute into supermarkets and around £14,400 annually to keep the news website updated daily.
Your donation, big or small, will help to cover these costs and enable us to keep the Downs Mail a FREE community newspaper.