The Manchester Evening News is set to win exclusive rights to distribute a free evening newspaper at Manchester Piccadilly station after News International decided against bidding for the contact.
NI pulled out of the Network Rail tender process even though it is keen to develop its freesheet brand nationally and has registered themanchesterpaper as a trademark.
Ian Clark, general manager of thelondonpaper, says: “This contract is not a pre-requisite to launching in Manchester, but we have not ruled a launch out. There will be bigger issues than the award of contracts of this nature.”
Network Rail plans to launch a freesheet that will be distributed from Monday to Friday, between around 3pm and 9pm at the station, where footfall is estimated to be around 60,000 people per day.
The Manchester Evening News, which is owned by Guardian Media Group, is already given out free in the city centre although it is a paid-for title outside of the centre.
Associated Newspapers retains the rights to distribute Metro at Manchester Piccadilly station in the morning.