The Peak Advertiser was initially produced, and continues to be, a local paper, for local people, promoting local business. The original principles of this community paper were to meet local advertising needs, to inform and entertain local readership whilst continuing to be neither political nor controversial. These principles have been strictly adhered to and have, in turn, resulted in enormous popularity and ongoing business success.
The first issue of The Peak Advertiser was produced in July 1982, as a typical cottage industry. The first paper consisted of eight pages and 9,000 copies were distributed once a month within the Peak District. Within the first year the free distribution area was widened to include Matlock, Wirksworth and areas just outside the Peak Park. In 1986 the paper went fortnightly and early in 1987 commenced its own in-house typesetting. The Peak Advertiser took its first office in Bakewell in 1992 and moved to larger premises in Diamond Court, Bakewell, in 2001. In April 2007 the Peak Advertiser, having outgrown the offices again, moved to more spacious Accommodation in Orme Court, Bakewell, from where it currently operates.
The Peak Advertiser is still produced fortnightly. Over 30,000 copies are distributed throughout the Peak District and surrounding areas, through 105 local distributors delivering door to door, and 154 drop-off points for outlying farms, hamlets and for visitors to the area.
A vital factor of the popularity of the newspaper is, of course, the content. Editorial contribution comes from our regular writers, featuring historical articles, snippets of fun, spooky stories and tales of the famous, alongside all types of walks. The paper covers community services through “Talk of the Dales” and prints endless information and interesting articles contributed by the readers themselves, along with their treasured photographs and fond memories. Another popular part is the Coming Events section, offered free to all charitable organisations so that they may publicise their local events. This section can cover six pages for two weeks’ events – quite incredible for a rural area! The free classified household items for sale are very popular reading and The Peak Advertiser runs free adverts for the local Job Centres to help job seekers in the area.
Many Peak Advertiser articles have been adapted for inclusion on the Peakland Heritage website www.peaklandheritage.org.uk This website is a joint venture by Derbyshire County Council, Peak District National Park and the British Library. One of its aims is to provide information required by the National Curriculum. Every issue of The Peak Advertiser is on microfilm in the Local Studies Library in County Hall, Matlock, and is used constantly for public reference.