Next month your Wharfedale Airedale Observer is to change to an exciting new, easier-to-handle, compact format.

Over the years, many readers have told us they find the traditional, large broadsheet-sized newspaper difficult to handle and now, in this landmark year, we’ve decided to do something about it.

But the changes don’t stop there: not only is the shape changing but we’re giving your favourite local newspaper a top-quality makeover AND a new name.

From our edition of Thursday, February 10, 2011, the Observer is to merge with its sister title, the Ilkley Gazette, to become the Ilkley, Wharfedale & Airedale GAZETTE & OBSERVER.

Why? Because we believe we can provide an even better service for readers throughout Ilkley, Wharfedale and Aireborough by bringing you a much-wider-ranging service in a bigger, and even better value-for-money, package.

The two newspapers, as readers know, have always shared the same core content with some editionised pages to recognise local differences. But we think ALL our readers should be able to enjoy ALL our content.

To make sure no one misses out, we’re putting on lots of extra pages in the new, combined Gazette & Observer, so that we can bring you an even bigger package of up-to-date news, sport and features – all for the same, great price.

We think your great new-look newspaper will also be a lot easier to read. Our award-winning designers have put together a really classy, quality product which will appeal to new readers while maintaining and improving all that’s great about the existing titles.

As well as more pages for news, there’ll be more pages of sport, more room for your letters, more topical and nostalgic features, better coverage of entertainment and the arts and a wider audience for our advertisers.

We think you’ll love the new Gazette & Observer. After all, like Morecambe & Wise, Marks & Spencer and Fish ‘n’ Chips, some things are just meant to be together!