Letter to members from Sara Drake, RTPI Managing Director
I am writing to let you know, as soon as I have been able, that Haymarket, the publishers of Planning Magazine, have reluctantly taken the decision to change the frequency of the publication from weekly to fortnightly from 14 January 2011.
We wanted RTPI members to have much more notice of this decision but we were not able to persuade Haymarket to allow us to do this before now as the company wished to finalise its plans.
As you may be aware, magazines these days are substantially financed through general advertising and also recruitment advertising revenue. The state of the economy has seen fewer and fewer employers spending money on recruitment. For Haymarket this means Planning is no longer financially viable in its current format.
Although for many years it was a monthly publication, we recognise that Planning is an important membership benefit and the reduction in frequency will be regretted by many. We can take considerable comfort however that Planning has not gone the way of Regeneration & Renewal, which you may know has ceased entirely in its printed form.
What we have tried to do is to use the commercial decision by Haymarket to move to a fortnightly format to negotiate with them what we hope members will consider to be an improved and enhanced publication, with a re design and much more in-depth analysis of key planning issues, to ensure our members still get the best possible value for money.
The new magazine, which will also have a new editor, will retain key and popular features and provide extra pages in its revised format. There will be:
- 11 pages of news analysis in each issue, bringing you longer in-depth articles, with more context and stronger analysis of the key stories.
- Closer working with RTPI to ensure the magazine reflects the content our members want.
- More coverage of community planning.
- Improved visuals, maps, charts and graphs to support the information presented.
- Enhanced coverage of areas such as economic development, communities, energy and environment, regeneration and housing.
- A dedicated section for news from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
- New, big-name columnists to complement the existing stable of writers.
- An expanded features section including regular interviews with key politicians and policy makers.
- Regular feature designed to highlight and share good planning practice - showcasing the delivery of a particular aspect of planning work together with a critique by a third party expert.
RTPI members will continue to have access to www.planningresource.co.uk for the latest planning news and developments.
I know many members will regret the loss of a weekly magazine but in circumstances that ideally no one would wish for, we believe that the new format Planning magazine will prove to be an extremely successful and valuable publication for our members.