The Positive Media Group was officially launched at a glamorous reception, on Thursday 1 October, at Arclite House, their glittering hi-tech office shared with Excalibur Communications overlooking Peatmoor Lagoon in West Swindon.

The hundred or so attendees enjoyed canapes, cocktails and champagne and were able to discover exactly who was who at the new organisation. Positive Media Group is the new umbrella organisation that brings together a stable of publications: Swindon Link magazine, The Business Exchange Swindon & Wiltshire and entertainment guide The Ocelot. At the launch, group owner James Phipps gave an overview of the different publications he has brought together before contributions by group editor and founder of The Ocelot Jamie Hill, Roger Ogle, founder and associate editor of Swindon Link, and Anita Jaynes, who runs The Business Exchange. Each publication is accompanied by a new state-of-the-art mobile-friendly website which means readers will always be kept up to date with the latest community, business and entertainment news wherever they are. PMG owner James Phipps said: “We’re now the largest media provider headquartered in Swindon with an unrivalled reach covering a range of demographics from business to community groups to the going-out crowd. “Every publication is free to readers, whether online or picking it up off their doormat. This is good for advertisers and something we will always stand by. Overall the group has a readership of over 100,000 people on a monthly basis meaning together the publications have a huge impact. “The name Positive Media Group really reflects what we do. Each publication sets out to shout about the good news in our town, from the grass roots community coverage that The Link provides, the economic success of Swindon covered by The Business Exchange and our vibrant cultural landscape that The Ocelot promotes. “Each publication has enjoyed its own successes but working together they can go from strength to strength which can only be a good thing for the town.” All three publications retain their original characters with Link founders Ruth and Roger Ogle, Ocelot editor Jamie Hill and TBE editor Anita Jaynes all being a major part of the team. Jamie commented: “The three publications complement each other, giving readers and advertisers comprehensive coverage of all facets of Swindon life. Overall the three titles have been at the centre of community life for 36 years with The Link’s beginnings all the way back in December 1978, The Ocelot from 2006 and The Business Exchange in 2013. Group owner James Phipps added. “I’m very excited by the formation of Positive Media Group. I believe that the three publications together will be a major force on the Swindon media landscape for many years to come, on paper and in the digital space. What makes me really proud is that the group is intensely focussed on our community, owned and largely staffed by Swindon people, with Swindon contributors, using Swindon based suppliers where we possibly can, and delivering to our local market. “Link, Ocelot and The Business Exchange have very different content. We now have an unrivalled offering for our readers and fantastic opportunities for advertisers to reach out to them.” Also during the evening, a platform was also given to two community initiatives: Swindon Soup, which, on 26 November is organising the first event of its kind in Swindon, where three groups or individuals will pitch social enterprise projects of benefit to the community. Those attending will vote for the project they’re most impressed by, after enjoying the opportunity to meet others from across the Swindon spectrum over bowls of soup. The cost of attending or pitching is a minimum of £5. The winner will receive the takings on the door, as well as any further donations made on the night. Click to make a pitch and also to attend: www.ex-c.co.uk/swindonsoup Villiers Park Education Trust which has launched an appeal for 100 Swindon business to sponsor 100 secondary age children in Swindon achieve their full potential, including preparing them to apply to top universities.www.villierspark.org.uk See each magazine at: www.swindonlink.com www.tbeswindonandwilts.co.uk www.theocelot.co.uk

Pictured top, the Positive Media Group team, from left, Roger Ogle, James Phipps, Anita Jaynes, Jamie Hill. Below, James Phipps launching PMG. Photos: Richard Wintle of Calyx

james phipps, positive media group