THE company behind Milford Haven-based newspaper The Pembrokeshire Herald has closed its doors today, October 18, after running for nearly seven years.

The controversial weekly, which later included editions in Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire, was launched in 2013, with then-editor Bruce Sinclair and Thomas Sinclair [no relation], who later went on to edit the paper after Bruce Sinclair resigned.

The Hamilton Terrace-based newspaper group, Herald News (UK) Limited, announced it had ceased trading first thing this morning, October 18, with staff informed at a meeting held at 10am this morning.

Under the editorship of Thomas Sinclair, the newspaper group has courted controversy on several occasions, with Thomas Sinclair previously being found guilty of identifying the victim of a sexual offence in one of his publications.

A major shareholder in the group was also sentenced to nine years in jail for drug-dealing.

Editor of Pembrokeshire Herald Thomas Sinclair said: "After finalising today's [October 18] paper to go to print yesterday, a meeting was held last night. It was confirmed that the expected further investor funding would not be made available for the company.

"This meant that operations need be halted as the businesses was not able to pay its ongoing costs.

"At 10am today [October 18] the 24 members of staff working at the newspaper have today been given notice of redundancy.

"We are absolutely devastated that after nearly seven years and hundreds of editions of the paper we can no longer continue.

"I would like to think that over those years, some of the stories we have written have made a difference to Pembrokeshire and beyond."

Director of Herald News UK Limited, John Hammond, said: "The company accountant could be appointing administrators as soon as next week.

"The owners of The Pembrokeshire Herald came to the conclusion last night during a finance meeting that the venture is no longer financially viable.

"Whilst every conceivable effort has been made to improve the financial situation of the business, we have to face the fact that there is no way that we can now continue in a solvent position.

"Whilst there has been a slow decline in readership of local newspapers, our costs for wages, printing and transport have substantially increased.

"We would like to thank all of our loyal readers and staff."