Magazine of the Year

Scroll down to see the nominated Regional Press Awards Magazines of the Year.

Many publishers and individual regional news centres produce high standard, superbly designed, monthly or regular standalone magazines. These are packed with wonderful content, are beautifully illustrated and give the national magazines a run for their money. This award recognises the growth in the quality of these magazines and seeks to reward one of the outstanding success stories of the regional press.

The shortlist

Devon Life

Supporting statement:

We believe there is a uniqueness about us which makes us the best regional magazine in the country. 

Firstly, how many magazines produce 13 issues a year on a team of 2.5 staffers with freelance support? And our Summer Special issue, produced to the same size and spec as all our other monthly editions, but squeezed in between the traditional July and August issues, was a fantastic success, recording a year on year rise of +19% in sales. 

In a retail magazine market that continues to see double digit decline for sales, Devon Life bucked this trend, and posted a year on year sales rise for retail sales of 2.4% (2019 v 2018).  

Paid for digital sales also grew throughout 2019 and year on year posted a year on year increase of +21%. 

We believe this is down to our mix of compelling, informative content – our mantra is ‘tell them something they don’t know every issue’ – close liaison with our colleagues in Subscriptions and Commercial, and providing the wow factor with our covers, which underwent a major re-vamp in the second half of the year to make them more prestige with a full bleed. 

Add in highly readable columnists, great use of pictures and a compelling mix of content which ensures we cover all areas of our huge county and we like to think we provide the complete package for our audience.

Judges’ Comments:  

Beautiful magazine that is a window into the life of Devon revealed with wit, intelligence and not a little dash.

Dorset Living magazine

Supporting statement:

Print Production

Printed by PCP, perfect bound on A4 150 gsm gloss and 80 gsm text, full colour throughout, 17,000 copies, free pickup including door to door and free pickup. 


The design of the publication is produced by our central Magazines team in Newport, we have a clear strategy that ensures the quality and design is followed and all editorial pages are given the same Living treatment.

We employ a picture-first content gathering strategy and quality, independently written, editorials, which ensure a sense of continuity and quality throughout each publication.

Advertising is also very important, and we have procedures and guidelines in place to design adverts to the highest standards for magazines. The quality of the advertising is constantly under review. 

The title has evolved further in 2019, offering more features and platforms for our aspirational female readership. 


Dorset Living is a luxury lifestyle magazine with strong local content, mixed with high end fashion, beauty and interiors pages. 

Our aspirational magazine has local people and places at its heart, featuring interviews with recognised local figures; artists; interior designers; chefs and restaurateurs. 

Expanding in 2018 to include wider reaching areas of Dorset, such as Bridport, Weymouth and Dorchester, Dorset Living as gone from averaging 199 pages to 260-plus in a number of months.

We provide monthly features on Arts & Leisure; Food & Drink; Events; Interiors; Fashion and Beauty; Property; Travel and Motoring. Where appropriate, this ethos extends to front covers, often sold commercially to tie in with a client’s advertising and reflecting the local focus of the magazine.

We produce regular special editions to tie in with local seasonal highlights from weddings and fashion, to fitness and food.

Dorset Living has a strong online presence. Features and issues are uploaded to our dedicated website, while Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds help promote the brand and connect with advertisers and readers.

Commercial innovation 

The Living design and flow makes it a great commercial proposition, giving us the opportunity to sell to customers in relevant sections and creating superb platforms for them to promote their businesses, supported by quality editorial with strong reader interest. 

Commercially our Bournemouth and Weymouth based sales teams excel at selling prime positions such as gatefolds, stuck inserts and commercial fronts. Often these are taken by high end jewellers promoting Rolex and Patek Phillipe.

One of the key selling points commercially is that we can deliver through our distribution network not only the exact geographical area the advertiser is focusing on but we also ensure the pickup points are located in targeted postcode areas to fit with our target demographic mosaic profile, Premium fortunes, Alpha families, Country Living, Satellite settlers plus Thriving independence, modern parents and mid-career convention.

Where many regional magazines have a cover price and a low penetration over a huge area, we are a free pick up in a concentrated, dedicated geographical area. We know from recent research that 99 per cent of the magazines we distribute are picked up.

Judges’ Comments:  

Sensationally designed, this meaty magazine is both colourful and informative. A truly good read – and for free!

ecoJersey, Jersey Evening Post

Supporting statement:

Given the explosion of interest and engagement with environmental issues which came off the back of Sir David Attenborough’s “Blue Planet” series, we felt it was important to take our coverage of environmental issues further and deeper. With the JEP already “at the heart of Island life”, it seemed obvious that we should now put ourselves at the heart of the most important challenge facing our own generation, and of many to come.

Putting a special focus on matters eco, we soon discovered that whilst there were many committed activist groups and individuals, experts within the civil service and businesses committed to greater sustainability, there was little communication or collaboration.

As the Island’s primary media voice, reaching a greater proportion of Islanders than ever across print, digital and social media channels, we set out with a clear aim – to engage, to inform and to encourage action. 

We worked hard to ensure we struck the right balance between being accessible and positive with the realities of the frightening challenges the planet faces. We realised that as an Island, whilst we were far from currently being so, as a community we had the opportunity to drive action which could result in Jersey becoming a global environmental exemplar.

From the outset, wanted ecoJersey to act as the hub to bring the community together.

And it resulted in us bringing together for the first time key environmental stakeholders, across all sectors of the community including government, the finance industry, utilities, farming, retail and hospitality, activism, and students. The event was attended by the Lieutenant-Governor of Jersey and addresses were delivered by the Minister for the Environment, the CEO of Jersey Electricity, the editor of ecoJersey and by three students. Key messaging, including that “we can all be catalysts for change” was subsequently broadcast to the wider community through the pages of the paper.

Under the ecoJersey banner, we also organised two mass-participation community events, Cleaning our Coast and Countryside, which saw hundreds join employees of businesses committed to driving positive change who we had brought on board as ecoJersey Partners. We also launched the ecoJersey Environmental Fund, to support grassroots environmental projects and crowned our Jersey Environmental Champion of the Year, one of 13 categories at our annual Pride of Jersey Awards.

Throughout 2019, we broke exclusives about pollution scandals, investigations into air quality and what was being done about Jersey’s fridge and asbestos ‘mountains’. And the foundation we created across 2019 is being built upon in 2020 as we increase the frequency of ecoJersey publications, build on our mass-participation public environmental awareness raising events and also launch the Jersey Business Sustainability Challenge, a regular meeting of senior local business leaders and government, hosted by ecoJersey, and intended to knowledge share and subsequently communicate best environmental business practice to the broader local business community.    

Judges’ Comments:  

An imaginative, original concept, brought to fruition in style by identifying a new audience and revenue stream while at the same time creating an important voice for the community in the battle to protect the environment.

Life, Jewish News

Supporting statement:

Life Magazine offers broad content produced on a tiny budget which entertains and informs  our readers and they love it.  Stockists tell us they pick up several when it comes out – notably for the dynamic covers and the new spin we give to interviews with actors, directors, producers and politicians. 

This reflects its sister newspaper, but in Life we provide longer reads and introduce our audience to people and subjects we know will be of interest. 

We get exclusives which isn’t easy for a small editorial team and in the summer 2019 issue we carried the last interview with author Judith Kerr, while  in winter – an issue dedicated to women – spoke to former Labour minister Louise Ellman. 

Adding fashion, beauty, technology and party-planning to the mix makes it female friendly, bur it appeals to all and works as an information source for our readers. The early calendar pages also do that and the eye-catching format enables us to highlight the work of artists and new performers seeking an audience. 

Jewish News is a regional paper for a community with diverse interests and beliefs – all of which is reflected in Life. As a free magazine we also rely on advertisers, but our editorial support for them is intelligent and original. Food is popular , so there are recipes, and restaurant coverage is for all budgets which is intentional and appreciated. 

The editor has a passion for all the topics included and brings sensitivity to a running order which allows an interview with a Holocaust survivor to sit beside an interview with Hilde Schramm, the daughter of Albert Speer. Readers always have expectations and Life tries to meet those and also offer surprises. 

Our stories on the Israeli show Shtisel created an interest globally and it was quite an honour to have requests to receive it from Australia, America and Brazil. We posted it out to all. The cross-over from the paper and supplements allows us to feature significant people working in business and charity- all of whom love being featured in the magazine. 

A fixed picture spend means thinking very hard about what we can use, and the art director does an incredible job making it look as though we have Vogue’s budget. 

As a result Life is much more than a magazine because the relationships forged with photographers and creatives enable us to support them , show their talent and make a fantastic final product. Looking at the mastheads of other mags often makes us green with envy because they have staff with specific responsibilities. 

Life is an all-hands to the deck affair, right down to selling the final ad pages, but we do it because we think our readers deserve the best and we bump into them at too many events to do otherwise. 

Our wish is to increase its regularity and though this will mean more work, we think the work speaks for itself and that’s why we think we should win.

Judges’ Comments:  

A new, bold product, beautifully executed to target a new audience for the Jewish News. Produced on limited resources – you wouldn’t know it!

Shropshire Magazine, Express & Star / Shropshire Star

Supporting statement:

Shropshire Magazine is the most widely-read quality glossy lifestyle publication about the county.

With 180 pages every month, we celebrate everything that is wonderful about Shropshire and its borders. We champion one of the UK’s most beautiful and diverse counties through bright and thoughtful features, profiles of fascinating people and groups, photographic spreads of social events, food reviews, property news, entertainment, fashion and leisure pursuits.

Shropshire Magazine is also commercially strong having recorded several years of growth. Advertising revenue is up 7.5 per cent on 2019 for the first quarter of 2020. We don’t have room for complacency but, given the challenging economic landscape for print, we believe that is worth shouting about. Circulation consists of free-to-home monthly delivery, subscriptions and sales in a host of retail outlets across the region. It stands at 13,000 a month, translating into an estimated readership of 60,000.

Shropshire has a colourful history and, we feel, a vibrant future. It is also a terrific county to live in now.

We reflect everyday life in the many lively and architecturally rich towns and villages which make up, along with some of the most sumptuous countryside in the UK, our county. 

It is our strong local editorial content, great photographs and stylish edge that set us apart from our rivals.

We believe Shropshire Magazine looks bright, modern and upmarket – the kind of elegant-looking periodical that you would be happy to leave lying on your coffee table or window seat.

Shropshire Magazine celebrates its 70th birthday this year and we are proud of its history as a valued part of county life. We have never been afraid to move with the times, though, and our stylish, contemporary look places us firmly at the cutting edge. We believe we offer our readers a traditional county magazine for the 21st century.

Shropshire Magazine is part of MNA Media, the UK’s largest independent newspaper publisher with a portfolio including two daily newspapers, several weekly newspapers and glossy magazines.

Judges’ Comments:  

Beautifully put together, this stylish magazine combined plenty of real-people interviews with fascinating peeks into the world of Shropshire.

Velvet, Bury Free Press

Supporting statement:

“Modern and sophisticated, this magazine is a credit to its small production team. Sumptuous advertising complements the features, which zing along with flair and precision. Enough to make you want to move to Cambridge or Bury St Edmunds. . .” – InPublishing, November 2019

Velvet magazine is proof that print publishing is alive, well and capable of both audience and commercial growth. When purchased by Iliffe Media three years ago, it was a loss-making title on point of closure; today, it’s a stable, profit-making product. To quantify that: in the March of 2017, monthly revenue totalled £8,000; for the last two years running, our September issue has generated in excess of £28,000 – almost £10,000 clear profit. We’re also reaching more readers, in print and online, than ever before: more than 45,000 p/m at last audit.


Our content is written by local people, about local people, for local people. In the last 12 months we have:

-Increased our team of expert columnists, each chosen for their profile and network in their field, from food to fashion to interiors

-Started collaborating with local creatives – influencers, photographers, students – to produce our own on-location photoshoots and unique cover images (see October and December 2019 editions); a real point of difference in our marketplace

-Run an increasing number of competitions – including pair-ups with big brands: Radley, Rigby & Peller, Timex – to boost pick-up appeal of the title and audience interaction. We received a record 500 entries in January and have seen reach extend way beyond patch, with entries from as far north as Fife and south as Cornwall

-Striking a deliberate balance between short, browsable news pieces and more in-depth long-form reads. Our ‘real life’ stories have shown (via web stats) to be particularly popular

-Recycled feature content in our sister newsprint titles, adding value to the wider portfolio


In keeping with current trends at national level, the magazine’s design continues to evolve towards an ever-cleaner, more contemporary lay-out. New designs include:

-Less cluttered Contents pages, including a showcase image grid 

-‘Weekend supplement’-style people profiles, with a single, generous image only

-More pared-back, heavily image-led emporium pages, in both fashion and homes

Commercial Innovation

We have broadened our offering for clients, to include:

-A new website, relaunched from a scratch start in summer and already attracting 6,000 users p/m, providing pure ad, advertisement feature and added-value options

-Renewed focus on feeding social media channels, sharing both paid-for and added-value posts for clients. Facebook has since attained a peak monthly reach of 60,000 – a record for us

-Development of a weekly e-newsletter, with sponsorship and standalone ad options

-Renewal of key media partnerships, notably with Newmarket Racecourses, an agreement which last year brought circa £30,000 into the company. This partnership pays dividends across the board, as it tangibly elevates our brand’s profile: during the July Festival, the associated content drove record

Judges’ Comments:  

Wonderful regional magazine with plenty of style. A great read.