Publisher and team announced for latest Reach Live launch

The latest Live site launch by Reach PLC is to be headed up by the digital editor of one of the group’s fastest-growing regional titles.

Luke Beardsworth will join Lancs Live as Publisher, from BristolLive, where he’s overseen rapid year-on-year growth and adoption of digital storytelling techniques.

Luke Beardsworth

A Lancashire native, Luke will return home to Bamber Bridge to edit the county-wide site.

Luke said: “It’s been no secret over the last five years that reporting on my home county is important to me. If there was a role that was going to pull me away from Bristol Live then it could only really have been this.

“It’s a great opportunity to build something completely new and work with a fresh team. I can’t wait to get started and show Lancashire what we’re about.”

Alex James

Football Writer Alex James joins from the Lancashire Telegraph where he has been Sports Editor.

He will lead the site’s coverage of Burnley FC, Preston North End, Blackburn Rovers and Blackpool FC.

Chantelle Heeds

Trainee Live News Reporter Chantelle Heeds joins from the Liverpool Echo, having previously worked for Reach PLC’s West Lancashire-based weekly titles in Southport and Ormskirk.

She’s joined by fellow Trainee Live News Reporter Olivia Baron, who graduates from the News Associates journalism short course in Manchester in January 2019 and has spent two years as a trainee reporter on hyperlocal site Blog Preston while studying journalism at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Olivia Baron

An Advance Content Writer will also be joining the team in the coming weeks, focusing on what’s on across Lancashire.

The team will continue to be supported in the early part of 2019 by the Manchester Evening News’ social build editor Emma Mountford who has been establishing the Lancs Live social presences.

Luke and team will work closely with colleagues at the Liverpool Echo and Manchester Evening News, as well as the existing East Lancashire print team covering Accrington and Rossendale. Our print titles the Accrington Observer and the Rossendale Free Press remain unaffected.

Liverpool Echo Editor and Reach PLC North West Editor-in-Chief Alastair Machray said: “It is great to see the launch of another Reach PLC site as we expand our ‘Live’ network across the UK and beyond.

“The Lancs Live team will have the full support of the Liverpool Echo newsroom in this exciting growth project.’’

Manchester Evening News Editor-in-chief Darren Thwaites said: “We’re delighted to have such a strong team on board. Growing our reach across Lancashire will give us an even bigger influence across the whole of the North. We’re becoming a real Northern Powerhouse.”

Alison Gow, editor-in-chief (digital) for Reach regionals, said: “Lancashire is a vibrant, newsy county and as such it’s a perfect match for our Live ethos. This is great news for local journalism and and local audiences — we have some exciting times ahead.”

Lancs Live will launch in early 2019 and be found at www.lancs.live . The email for story tips and contacting the team will be lancslive@reachplc.com and you can contact Luke and team for the time being on luke.beardsworth@reachplc.com

The team will be based at Sceptre House, Walton Summit, Bamber Bridge alongside the Northern and Shell, Daily Express, Daily Star and celebrity magazine production hub.

You can follow Lancs Live on:

Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/lancslive/

Twitter — https://twitter.com/LiveLancs

Instagram — https://www.instagram.com/lancslive/